Possessing Child Pornography
In Victoria, possessing child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. The offence of possessing child pornography is contained in section 70 of the Crimes Act.
What is Child Pornography?
Child pornography is defined by section 67A of the Crimes Act as a film, photograph, publication or computer game that describes or depicts a person who is, or appears to be, a minor engaging in sexual activity or depicted in an indecent sexual manner or context.
What the Police Must Prove
To find a person guilty of possessing child pornography, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- They had in their possession a film, photograph, publication or computer game
- That describes or depicts a person who is (or appears to be) a minor engaging in sexual activity or in an indecent manner
- That they intentionally had the material in their possession
Possible Defences for Possessing Child Pornography
Possible defences to a possessing child pornography charge include:
- The material possesses artistic merit
- The material is for a genuine medical, legal, scientific or educational purpose
- The material was or would have a classification other than X or X 18+, and has not been refused classification (RC)
- That you believed on reasonable grounds the minor was 18 or older
- That you are the minor depicted in the material
What Court will Hear this Matter?
The matter is an indictable offence meaning it is usually heard in the County or Supreme Court, however it can be heard summarily in the Magistrates’ Court.
It is also an offence under Commonwealth law to possess child-abuse or child-pornography material outside Australia. The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years imprisonment.
The maximum penalty is 25 years if the conduct involves three or more occasions and two or more young people.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.