Ohio Child Pornography Laws

Ohio Child Pornography Laws

It is illegal under Ohio state (and federal) law to produce, transport, share, receive, or possess child pornography. Why? Because images of child pornography are not considered protected speech by the Constitution. It is a form of child sexual exploitation. In modern times, instances of child pornography can occur on a computer through the Internet or even on a smartphone when engaged in an activity known as "sexting."

Most convictions will lead to registration on the Ohio Sex Offender List. Once registered, an individual may be on the list for life.

The following table highlights the main provisions of Ohio child pornography laws. See Cyber Crimes, Sex Crimes, and Crimes Against Children for more information.

Code Sections

Ohio Revised Code §2907.321: Pandering obscenity involving a minor

Ohio Revised Code §2907.322: Pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor

Ohio Revised Code §2907.323: Illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or
performance

What is Prohibited
  • Use of a child under the age of 18 in nudity-oriented material
  • Pander obscenity involving a minor
  • Pander any sexually oriented matter involving a minor
  • Can include emailing or texting sexually explicit photos or video messages as a form of dating or flirting
First Amendment Protections?

Child pornography is not protected speech covered by the First Amendment.

Definition of a "Minor"

A person under 18 years of age.

Mistake of Age Defense?

Not a defense against prosecution.

Mandatory State Sexual Offender Registry if Convicted? Yes, see Ohio Revised Code § 2950.01 Sexual predator, habitual sex offender, sexually oriented offender definitions.
Penalties

Felony, 4th or 2nd degree depending on the facts.

Federal Child Pornography Crimes

Child pornography is also a federal crime. Federal laws addressing child pornography include:

  • 18 U.S.C. § 2251- Sexual Exploitation of Children
    (Production of child pornography)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2251A- Selling and Buying of Children
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2252- Certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors (Possession, distribution and receipt of child pornography)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2252A- Certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2260- Production of sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the United State

Law Enforcement

Because criminal laws can sometimes get complicated, it may also be a good idea to consult an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney if you have questions about your specific situation.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.