Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Charges in Iowa

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Iowa Criminal Law » Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Charges in Iowa

The crime of sexual exploitation of a minor in Iowa is defined by Iowa Code section 728.12, which provides as follows:


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1. It shall be unlawful to employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, coerce, solicit, knowingly permit, or otherwise cause or attempt to cause a minor to engage in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of a prohibited sexual act. A person must know, or have reason to know, or intend that the act or simulated act may be photographed, filmed, or otherwise preserved in a negative, slide, book, magazine, computer, computer disk, or other print or visual medium, or be preserved in an electronic, magnetic, or optical storage system, or in any other type of storage system. A person who commits a violation of this subsection commits a class C felony. Notwithstanding section 902.9, the court may assess a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars for each offense under this subsection in addition to imposing any other authorized sentence.

2. It shall be unlawful to knowingly promote any material visually depicting a live performance of a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of a prohibited sexual act. A person who commits a violation of this subsection commits a class D felony. Notwithstanding section 902.9, the court may assess a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars for each offense under this subsection in addition to imposing any other authorized sentence.

3. It shall be unlawful to knowingly purchase or possess a negative, slide, book, magazine, computer, computer disk, or other print or visual medium, or an electronic, magnetic, or optical storage system, or any other type of storage system which depicts a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act or the simulation of a prohibited sexual act. A person who commits a violation of this subsection commits an aggravated misdemeanor for a first offense and a class D felony for a second or subsequent offense. For purposes of this subsection, an offense is considered a second or subsequent offense if, prior to the person s having been convicted under this subsection, any of the following apply:


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a. The person has a prior conviction or deferred judgment under this subsection.

b. The person has a prior conviction, deferred judgment, or the equivalent of a deferred judgment in another jurisdiction for an offense substantially similar to the offense defined in this subsection. The court shall judicially notice the statutes of other states that define offenses substantially similar to the offense defined in this subsection and that therefore can be considered corresponding statutes.

4. This section does not apply to law enforcement officers, court personnel, licensed physicians, licensed psychologists, or attorneys in the performance of their official duties.


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This portion of the Iowa Code prohibits the production, distribution, or promotion of child pornography.

A person convicted of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor under subsection 1 can receive a 10 year prison term.   Subsection 2 convictions can carry a 5 year prison term, while subsection 3 is an aggravated misdemeanor for first offenses, which can result in a 2 year sentence to the Iowa Department of Corrections (prison).

The charge of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in Iowa is a serious one that can result in a lengthy prison term as well as registration as a sex offender.  For that reason, any person accused of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor is wise to exercise their right to remain silent and seek an attorney at once.


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