RECOMMENDATION 50

Part: 
Three
Chapter: 
3

State legislatures should amend laws, where necessary, to make child pornography in the possession of an alleged child sexual abuser which depicts that person engaged in sexual acts with a minor sufficient evidence of child molestation for use in the prosecuting of that individual whether or not the child involved is found or is able to testify.

Law enforcement officers and prosecutors often are unable to successfully obtain a conviction against an individual on a charge of child molestation because they are unable to locate the child.[606] An amendment to state statutes which recognizes visual depictions of the molestation as sufficient evidence of the molestation, if all other elements of the crime can be proven, will make current law enforcement efforts more effective.

Such visual depictions are nothing more than records of actual child molestation.[607] Law enforcement efforts should not be barred because the children cannot be identified or located.

In New York, law enforcement authorities located photographs of an adult male engaging in numerous sexual acts with children.[608]

The identity of the adult is known to the authorities, but they can take no action against him for those sexual offenses because the child depicted in the photographs cannot be identified.[609]

Police in Columbus, Ohio, seized photographs of an adult male engaged in sexual acts with two young girls aged nine and ten.[610] They could bring no charges for the child sexual abuse offense until the girls could be located .[611]

Notes

  1. Miami Hearing, Vol. II. William Cassidy, pp. 201-02.
  2. See, New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S., (1982), p. 747.
  3. Miami Hearing, Vol. II, Paul Der Ohannesian, p. 64.
  4. Id.
  5. Miami Hearing, Vol. II, William Cassidy, pp. 201-02.
  6. Id.