Computer Crime Research Center


Fighting Child Pornography

Date: May 04, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Timofey Saytarly

In time of intensive global computerization humanity faced plenty of challenges, which have quickly turned into real threats to economic and social well-being.

Cybercrime and cyberterrorism can be included in list of threats. A phenomenon of cybercrime is so young as it is not well studied. Being a crime which has transnational nature, cybercrime requires special approaches.

Among of such widespread cybercrimes as infringement of the work of computers and computer networks, data theft, Internet fraud, blackmail and extortion, distortion of computer information, it is necessary to emphasize and mark out crimes related to manufacture and distribution of child pornography in the Internet.

Current statistics shows a popularity of such crimes. According to different sources child pornography can reach 6 billion dollar a year industry.

We define the following Types of INCIDENTS related to child sexual exploitation.

- child pornography
- luring
- child-sex tourism
- child prostitution

Network monitoring carried out by law enforcement agencies shows that 1 in 5 children are contacted for sex while being online.
70% of convicted sex offenders use the Internet.

Over 90% of the child sexual abuse incidents are committed by someone known and trusted by the child or his/her family.

However, the court is required to find the person not guilty if the representation or written material has artistic merit or an educational, scientific, or medical purpose.

Sex Offender Statistics
• There are approximately 400, 000 registered sex offenders in the US alone.
• Convicted rapists report that two-thirds of their victims were under 18 and 58% of those said their victims were age 12 or under.
• In 1994 only one third of the victims said that they reported being raped to a law enforcement agency.
• In 90% of the rapes of children under 12 years old, the offender knew the victim.
• 8 out of 10 rapists are released prior to trial.
• 61% of violent sex offenders have a prior record.
• 8 out of 10 sex assaulters reported that their victim was under 18. The median age of victims of imprisoned sex offenders was 13 years old.
• 24% of those serving time for rape and 19% of the ones serving time for sex assault were on probation at the time of arrest for rape or sexual assault.
• 28% of released rapists were rearrested within 3 years and charged for a new violent crime.
• 8 % of those are charged with another rape.
• Released rapists were found to be 10.5 times as likely as non-rapists to be rearrested for rape and those who served time are found to be 7.5 times as likely as those convicted of other crimes to be rearrested for a new sexual assault.

The governments of developed countries have already realized the urgency of problem of child pornography. According to researches it is possible to state that there is a relation of child and adult pornography to other grave organized crimes, such as international terrorism. Child pornography industry can be a financial support for terrorist groupings and committing terrorist acts. The transnational nature of this crime is obvious.

In this connection it is very important to develop an effective system of cooperation between various law enforcement agencies in child pornography on line investigation.

Nowadays, only the Criminal Search Department (Ministry of Internal Affairs) is engaged in fighting child pornography in Ukraine. However, there is a necessity to create special divisions on detecting and fixing offenders in the Internet, on collecting information on these crimes, criminal intelligence units, and analytical departments.

The critical issue is a definition of child pornography in the current criminal law. Unfortunately, Ukrainian Penal Code doesn’t define a responsibility and prosecution for such crimes as intention to involve children in sexual relations, storage of child pornography materials, viewing child pornography, etc.

Current penal legislation of Ukraine has a very narrow definition of actions related to child sexual abuse. In spite of the fact that there are several articles dedicated to child abuse in Criminal Code of Ukraine it is still hard to prosecute offenders in this state.

Criminal Code of Ukraine has the following articles providing responsibility for sexual crimes against children.

Article 301 «Import, producing, sale and distribution of the pornography». The third part of this article provides responsibility for compulsion minors to participate in porno scenes (video, photos, and computer programs). These actions are punished with 3-7 years imprisonment.

It seems the most felicitous article of Ukraine’s Criminal Code from the point of criminalization of criminal activity on creating porno materials involving minors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover all ways of this crime committing.

Article 152 «Rape», i.e. copulation using violence, threatening to use violence or using helpless position of a victim.

The third part of the article provides responsibility for minors’ rape, and the fourth part – for child rape. However, a qualificatory sign of this crime is using force. Frequently, child pornography is produced in consent with children, because they don’t realize what they do in full measure.

The same situation is in use of Article 153 of Criminal Code of Ukraine. «Violent obtaining of sexual satisfaction in unnatural ways». The second and the third parts of this article provide responsibility for such actions towards children and minors, if they caused grave consequences. Besides, frequently, there is no assault, as well as grave consequences.

Article 155 «Sexual intercourse with the person under the age of puberty». This action is punished with 3 years of imprisonment, if it caused sterility or other grave consequences.

Article 156 «Deprave of minors», i.e. depraving persons under sixteen years old. These actions are punished with confinement of freedom for 3-5 years, that is not enough for such crimes.

Thus, one of the main qualificatory signs of crimes against children is using violence or threatening to use violence, and causing the grave hurt to health. However, the majority of pornographic photos and videos involving children show the free-will and desire of children to enter in sexual intercourse. But these photos and videos are evidence of criminal activity and it is hard to accuse offender of crime against children in full measure, seeing victims not suffering from these actions.

Moreover, Criminal Code of Ukraine doesn’t provide the responsibility for forcing minors to have sexual intercourse with each other.

It is necessary to note that the main aspect in fighting child pornography and paedophilia is to provide responsibility for possession of child pornography. It is known that “supply is resulted by demand”.

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