Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Child Pornography Charges in Illinois

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Illinois Criminal Law » Child Pornography Charges in Illinois

The crime of child pornography in Illinois is defined by 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1 as follows:


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(1) films, videotapes, photographs, or otherwise

depicts or portrays by means of any similar visual medium or reproduction or depicts by computer any child whom he or she knows or reasonably should know to be under the age of 18 or any person with a severe or profound intellectual disability where such child or person with a severe or profound intellectual disability is:

(i) actually or by simulation engaged in any act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct with any person or animal; or


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(ii) actually or by simulation engaged in any act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct involving the sex organs of the child or person with a severe or profound intellectual disability and the mouth, anus, or sex organs of another person or animal; or which involves the mouth, anus or sex organs of the child or person with a severe or profound intellectual disability and the sex organs of another person or animal; or

(iii) actually or by simulation engaged in any act of masturbation; or

(iv) actually or by simulation portrayed as being the object of, or otherwise engaged in, any act of lewd fondling, touching, or caressing involving another person or animal; or


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(v) actually or by simulation engaged in any act of excretion or urination within a sexual context; or

(vi) actually or by simulation portrayed or depicted as bound, fettered, or subject to sadistic, masochistic, or sadomasochistic abuse in any sexual context; or

(vii) depicted or portrayed in any pose, posture or setting involving a lewd exhibition of the unclothed or transparently clothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is female, a fully or partially developed breast of the child or other person; or

(2) with the knowledge of the nature or content thereof, reproduces, disseminates, offers to disseminate, exhibits or possesses with intent to disseminate any film, videotape, photograph or other similar visual reproduction or depiction by computer of any child or person with a severe or profound intellectual disability whom the person knows or reasonably should know to be under the age of 18 or to be a person with a severe or profound intellectual disability, engaged in any activity described in subparagraphs (i) through (vii) of paragraph (1) of this subsection; or
(3) with knowledge of the subject matter or theme thereof, produces any stage play, live performance, film, videotape or other similar visual portrayal or depiction by computer which includes a child whom the person knows or reasonably should know to be under the age of 18 or a person with a severe or profound intellectual disability engaged in any activity described in subparagraphs (i) through (vii) of paragraph (1) of this subsection; or

(4) solicits, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any child whom he or she knows or reasonably should know to be under the age of 18 or a person with a severe or profound intellectual disability to appear in any stage play, live presentation, film, videotape, photograph or other similar visual reproduction or depiction by computer in which the child or person with a severe or profound intellectual disability is or will be depicted, actually or by simulation, in any act, pose or setting described in subparagraphs (i) through (vii) of paragraph (1) of this subsection; or

(5) is a parent, step-parent, legal guardian or other person having care or custody of a child whom the person knows or reasonably should know to be under the age of 18 or a person with a severe or profound intellectual disability and who knowingly permits, induces, promotes, or arranges for such child or person with a severe or profound intellectual disability to appear in any stage play, live performance, film, videotape, photograph or other similar visual presentation, portrayal or simulation or depiction by computer of any act or activity described in subparagraphs (i) through (vii) of paragraph (1) of this subsection; or

(6) with knowledge of the nature or content thereof, possesses any film, videotape, photograph or other similar visual reproduction or depiction by computer of any child or person with a severe or profound intellectual disability whom the person knows or reasonably should know to be under the age of 18 or to be a person with a severe or profound intellectual disability, engaged in any activity described in subparagraphs (i) through (vii) of paragraph (1) of this subsection; or

(7) solicits, or knowingly uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces, a person to provide a child under the age of 18 or a person with a severe or profound intellectual disability to appear in any videotape, photograph, film, stage play, live presentation, or other similar visual reproduction or depiction by computer in which the child or person with a severe or profound intellectual disability will be depicted, actually or by simulation, in any act, pose, or setting described in subparagraphs (i) through (vii) of paragraph (1) of this subsection.

Illinois law treats child pornography charges differently depending upon a variety of factors. Generally speaking, the charge is a Class X felony or a Class 1 felony. Under either the Class X or Class 1 felony version of the charge, the maximum fine is much larger than would be the norm for such a class of felony.

Computers or other equipment used in connection with the commission of a child pornography crime in Illinois can be seized by the state for forfeit.

The serious nature of a child pornography charge in Illinois, coupled with the potential prison sentence and sex offender registration requirement, mean that any person so accused is wise to seek an attorney at once.


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