When Relationships Go Digital, How Parents Can Help With Revenge Child Sexual Abuse Material

In an era of pervasive digital communication, relationships have increasingly moved online, especially among young people. This shift has brought new challenges, particularly in intimate relationships. When these relationships sour, there’s a growing concern about the misuse of personal images or videos.

Sharing or even possessing certain types of images involving minors can be prosecuted as revenge child sexual abuse material (CSAM), which is a felony in Texas. If your child has been accused of engaging in CSAM or another sexual crime, it is important to take quick action to protect your child’s rights and their future. At Barbieri Law Firm, P.C., we’re committed to protecting those accused of difficult crimes, and we believe every client deserves our utmost empathy and tenacity. We leverage decades of experience to fight relentlessly until we reach a positive outcome.

Understanding Revenge CSAM and Its Effects

Revenge porn involves the distribution of sexually explicit material without the consent of the person depicted, often as an act of retaliation or control. For those involved, this can have devastating effects on not only mental and emotional well-being but personal reputations and future prospects. When revenge porn occurs between adults, the offense is often prosecuted as a misdemeanor.

Revenge CSAM is more serious because the law establishes strong provisions to protect minors. Under the law, it is a crime to possess or access images that show anyone under the age of 18  “engaging in sexual conduct.” This includes images showing a minor’s genitals or female breasts in a “lewd” manner.

When someone shares the images, the crime is penalized more severely. Many teens are not aware that it is illegal for them to send explicit images of their bodies to anyone. While they may seek to have someone prosecuted for sharing their images, they do not realize that they violated the law by sending the images in the first place.

Legal Penalties

Possessing or sharing sexually explicit images of a minor can be treated as a first, second, or third degree felony depending on the circumstances. While simple possession might be penalized as a felony in the third degree, when someone “promotes” the image by sharing it with others in any way digitally, the crime escalates to a second degree felony for a first time offense. Penalties can include up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If your child has been charged with or accused of revenge CSAM, they may be subject to a protective order. It is vitally important to understand precisely what types of conduct are prohibited by that order and to abide by the terms very carefully. Violating a protective order constitutes a separate, additional serious criminal offense. A criminal defense attorney can help ensure that you understand how to comply with the order.

It is also possible that even if criminal charges are dropped or settled, the person accusing your child of revenge CSAM could file a civil lawsuit seeking damages or other relief. They are more likely to do so if evidence produced in a criminal case gives them strong grounds to pursue the claim, so it is best to raise vigorous defenses in any criminal cases as soon as possible to dissuade the other party from attempting to seek civil remedies.

Preventive Measures

Prevention is critical in addressing the issue of revenge CSAM, and that starts with education. Parents should educate themselves and their children about the risks of sharing intimate images and the importance of digital privacy. Teens need to be made aware that they break the law when they send explicit photos of themselves, and that once images have been recorded and shared, anything can happen to them.

Discussions about respecting boundaries, both online and offline, are essential. Barbieri Law Firm, P.C., advocates for awareness and education to prevent these situations. We’re committed to helping Texas families stay informed and safe in the digital world.

Contact Barbieri Law Firm for Compassionate Legal Assistance

If you or your child has been accused of revenge child sexual abuse material in Texas, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Barbieri Law Firm, P.C., is dedicated to providing compassionate and professional legal assistance. Our approachable team is here to support you through this challenging time and work towards a positive outcome.

Call us today at  972-424-1902 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We’re here to help you navigate the legal complexities and find the justice you deserve.

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