Olsinski Law Firm team

18 U.S.C. 2251A – Buying or Selling of Children

Attorneys Helping North Carolina Residents Charged with Federal Sex Crimes

The federal government takes great care to protect children from sex crimes. Thus, they seek out and prosecute people who engage in activities related to the production and distribution of materials depicting children in sexually explicit activities, such as people who buy or sell children for the purposes of using them to create pornography. A conviction for buying or selling of children carries a significant prison sentence, and it is crucial for anyone facing such charges to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The Charlotte and Concord child trafficking lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm can advise you about your options and assist you in developing a strategy that will help you seek the best legal result available under the facts of your case.

Federal Law Pertaining to Buying and Selling of Children

While there are numerous laws criminalizing acts related to the creation and distribution of child pornography, 18 U.S. Code section 2251A pertains to the specific act of buying or selling children for the purpose of creating pornography. Specifically, section 2251A(a) provides that any parent or guardian who sells or transfers or offers to sell or transfer custody of a child to another person with the knowledge that the child will be forced to engage in or assist another person in engaging in sexual activity for the purposes of producing a video or photograph of the activity will be convicted of a crime. A parent also can be convicted under 2251A(a) if they sell or transfer custody of a child with the intent to promote the child to partake in or aid a person in partaking in sexual activity for the purposes of producing a video or photograph of the conduct.

Section 2251A(b) criminalizes the act of buying a child. As a child trafficking attorney in Charlotte or Concord can explain, it bars parties from purchasing or offering to purchase or otherwise obtain a child with the knowledge that the child will be videotaped or photographed while either engaging in or helping someone engage in sexually explicit activity for the purpose of making a visual depiction of the activity. Similar to section 2251A(a), it is also a crime for a person to buy a child with the intent to encourage the child to engage in or help someone engage in sexual activity for the purposes of producing a video or photograph of the conduct.

To obtain a conviction under section 2251A, the prosecution must show that the child or the defendant traveled over state lines or that their conduct affected interstate or foreign commerce, or that the offer was communicated through means that affect interstate or foreign commerce, such as the mail or internet, or that the conduct occurred in any U.S. territory or possession. A conviction under section 2251A is punishable by a minimum of 30 years in prison, up to life in prison. Thus, a defendant should retain a Charlotte or Concord child trafficking attorney who can fight these charges aggressively.

The Prosecution’s Burden of Proof

In any criminal case, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed each element of the charged offense. In other words, the prosecution must demonstrate that a reasonable person, when presented with the facts and evidence in the case, could come to no other conclusion than that the defendant is guilty. Thus, for the crime of buying and selling of children, if the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant had a malicious intent, the defendant should not be convicted. It is important to note that while the prosecution must prove its case, criminal defendants do not have any burden of proof and are not required to produce any evidence.

Speak to a Knowledgeable Sex Crime Lawyer in Charlotte or Concord

If you are charged with buying or selling children in violation of federal law, you should speak to an attorney promptly to avoid waiving your rights. At the Olsinski Law Firm, we are proficient at navigating the complexities of federal criminal cases. The child trafficking lawyers at our Charlotte and Concord offices represent people charged with buying or selling of children in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, including in Huntersville, Mint Hill, Matthews, Cornelius, Davidson, Pineville, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, Midland, and Mount Pleasant. You can contact us by calling 704-405-2580 to reach our Charlotte office or 704-918-4747 to reach our Concord office, or you can use the online form to schedule a meeting to discuss your case.

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