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11, including ex fire fighter, face child pornography charges

A former California fire fighter was recently accused of downloading child pornography at fire stations. He is one of a total of 11 men in one county who have been charged with child pornography as part of a huge child porn bust. Police said the men used file-sharing programs to take part in trading the pornography.

According to authorities, the children who were shown in the pornography were victimized multiple times. Police said the recent child porn bust illustrates that this crime is widespread. They also said it demonstrates that using peer-to-peer networks does not protect traders of child pornography from prosecution.

The individuals who have been charged following the bust range in age from 23 to 58. Their various charges include advertising child porn, distributing and receiving the porn, and possessing the porn, which included both images and videos. A conviction for advertising child porn carries a required sentence of at least 15 to 30 years behind prison bars. Meanwhile, the mandatory sentence is at least five to 20 years each for distributing and receiving child porn. The required sentence is no more than 10 to 20 years for possessing child porn.

A person who is accused of engaging in child pornography in California may decide to go to trial to fight the charges or instead seek to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution. The possible benefit of a plea agreement is that it may lead to a lighter sentence compared with what may be imposed if the defendant were to be found guilty at trial. In either situation, defense counsel will pursue the outcome that is the most personally favorable for the client in light of the circumstances.

Source: Hollywood, CA, Patch, "Former LA Firefighter Allegedly Downloaded Child Porn at Fire Stations", April 26, 2016

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