Iowa Child Pornography Laws

Child pornography is generally defined as pornographic material that portrays or exploits a minor. Any form of involvement in child pornography is illegal, including possessing it. The United States Department of Justice provides a guide for federal child pornography laws, and each state also has its own child pornography laws. In Iowa, it's considered child pornography not only when minors perform a prohibited sexual act, but also if they engage in a simulation of a prohibited sexual act.

Iowa Child Pornography Statute

The following table is a quick summary of Iowa's child pornography laws.

Code Sections Iowa Code Annotated § 728.12, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
What is Prohibited?

The following acts are prohibited:

  1. To use, persuade, entice, induce, employ, force, solicit, knowingly permit or cause (or attempt to cause) a minor to engage in a prohibited sexual act (real or simulated). The person must know (or should know) that the act may be preserved in a visual depiction (i.e. filmed, photographed, etc.)
  2. To knowingly promote any material that visually depicts a live performance of a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act (real or simulated).
  3. To knowingly possess or purchase a visual depiction of a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act (real or simulated).
Penalty
  • Violation of #1 above is a class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $50,000.
  • Violation of #2 above is a class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and a minimum fine of $750 and a maximum fine of $25,000.
  • Violation of #3 as a first offense is an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to 2 years in prison, and a minimum fine of $625 and a maximum fine of $6,250. Any subsequent offense is a class D felony.
  • In addition to fines and prison terms, a person convicted under #1, #2, or #3 is required to register as a sex offender.
Defenses This statute requires that the person perform the prohibited acts knowingly; therefore, it's a defense if the person commits any of the prohibited acts listed above unaware of the character of the matter.

Iowa Child Pornography Laws: Related Resources

You can visit FindLaw's section on Sex Crimes for more information and articles on this topic. If you or someone close to you is facing a child pornography charge or any other sex crime charge, it's in your best interest to contact a local sex crimes attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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