The Maryland child pornography laws can be found in Maryland Criminal Law 11-207, 11-208, & 11-209.
According to Maryland Criminal Law 11-207, a person may not:
- cause, induce, solicit, or knowingly allow a minor to engage as a subject in the production of obscene matter or a visual representation or performance that depicts a minor engaged as a subject in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct;
- photograph or film a minor engaging in an obscene act, sadomasochistic abuse, or sexual conduct;
- use a computer to depict or describe a minor engaging in an obscene act, sadomasochistic abuse, or sexual conduct;
- knowingly promote, advertise, solicit, distribute, or possess with the intent to distribute any matter, visual representation, or performance:
- that depicts a minor engaged as a subject in sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct; or
- in a manner that reflects the belief, or that is intended to cause another to believe, that the matter, visual representation, or performance depicts a minor engaged as a subject of sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct; or
- use a computer to knowingly compile, enter, transmit, make, print, publish, reproduce, cause, allow, buy, sell, receive, exchange, or disseminate any notice, statement, advertisement, or minor’s name, telephone number, place of residence, physical characteristics, or other descriptive or identifying information for the purpose of engaging in, facilitating, encouraging, offering, or soliciting unlawful sadomasochistic abuse or sexual conduct of or with a minor.
Penalty for Child Pornography in Baltimore, MD
- for a first violation, imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $25,000 or both; and
- for each subsequent violation, imprisonment not exceeding 20 years or a fine not exceeding $50,000 or both.
Evidence of Child Pornography in Maryland
- observation of the matter depicting the individual;
- oral testimony by a witness to the production of the matter, representation, or performance;
- expert medical testimony; or
- any other method authorized by an applicable provision of law or rule of evidence.
Possession of Visual Representation of Child Under 16 Engaged in Certain Sexual Acts
- engaged as a subject of sadomasochistic abuse;
- engaged in sexual conduct; or
- in a state of sexual excitement.
What About Parents Who Have Images of Their Children?
- as a subject of sadomasochistic abuse; or
- in sexual conduct and in a state of sexual excitement.
Then the parent may be charged with possession of “visual representation of a child under 16 years of aged engaged in a sexual act.”
Defenses to Possession of Child Pornography
- took reasonable steps to destroy each visual representation; or
- reported the matter to a law enforcement agency.
Hiring Minor for Prohibited Purposes in Maryland
In Maryland, it is a crime to hire, employ, or use an individual, if the person knows, or possesses facts under which the person should reasonably know, that the individual is a minor, to do or assist in doing an act described in §11-203 of the Maryland Criminal Law.
Penalty for Hiring a Minor for Prohibited Purposes
- for a first violation, imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both; and
- for each subsequent violation, imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.
Sex Offender Registration
The following sex offender registration rules and law apply for the Maryland child pornorgaphy laws.
Tier I: If convicted, an individual must register for 15 years.
- Criminal Law 11-208 – Possession of child pornography
Tier II – If convicted, an individual must register for 25 years.
- Criminal Law 11-207 – Distribution of child pornography
- Criminal Law 11-209 – Hiring a minor for prohibited purposes
How a Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you suspect you are the target of an investigation or you have been charged with child pornography in Maryland, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today. The penalties and consequences of a conviction for child pronography may require the registry as a sex offender. For more information about sex offender registry, visit the Maryland Comprehensive Register Sex Offender website.