West Virginia Child Pornography Laws

Photos, videos, and other materials that depict minors engaging in sexual conduct are referred to as child pornography and are illegal under both federal and state laws. In West Virginia it is illegal to produce, possess, or distribute child pornography. The table below outlines the main aspects of West Virginia's child pornography laws.

Code Section

West Virginia Code sections 61-8C-2 and 61-8C-3: Child Pornography

What's Prohibited?

Producing Child Pornography:

  • Causing or knowingly permitting, using, persuading, inducing, enticing, or encouraging a minor to engage in any sexually explicit conduct if the offender knows that the act is being photographed or filmed
  • Photographing or filming a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, or
  • Parents, guardians, or people who have custody of a minor (1) photographing or filming the minor in any sexually explicit conduct or (2) causing or knowingly permitting, using, persuading, inducing, enticing, or coercing the minor to engage in a sexually explicit act that the offender knows is being photographed or filmed

Distributing & Possessing Child Pornography:

  • Knowingly and willfully, sending, distributing, exhibiting, possessing, displaying, or transporting any material that depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct
Definition of "Minor"

A minor is any child under 18 years old.

Definition of "Sexually Explicit Conduct"

Sexually explicit conduct includes any of the following (either actually performed or simulated):
  • Genital to genital intercourse
  • Fellatio
  • Cunnilingus
  • Anal intercourse
  • Oral to anal intercourse
  • Bestiality, or
  • Masturbation

Penalties

Producing Child Pornography: Felony.

  • Punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Distributing & Possessing Child Pornography: Felony.

  • If the crime involves 50 or fewer images: Punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, and/or imprisonment for up to two years.
  • If the crime involves 50 to 600 images: Punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, and/or imprisonment for between two and 10 years.
  • If the crime involves 600 or more images: Punishable by a fine of up to $25,000, and/or imprisonment for between five and 15 years.
  • If the images depict violence against a child or a child engaging in bestiality: Punishable by a fine of up to $25,000, and/or imprisonment for between five and 15 years.
  • Each video lasting five minutes or less will constitute 75 images. Videos lasting longer than five minutes will constitute 75 images for every two minutes in excess of five minutes.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding West Virginia's child pornography laws contact a local criminal defense lawyer.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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