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Alice is 30 and lives in the EU. When she was underage (say 14) she willfully took photos and videos of herself masturbating and/or performing explicit sexual acts. She still has those photos on her computer.

Situation A: She is charged with an unrelated crime (e.g. fraud) and her computer is searched by the police, who find the files.

Situation B: She now uploads those files to an American website, and sells them to get money from pedophiles willing to see them.

Situation C: She willfully uploaded those pictures to the Internet when she was 16, without asking money for them. The pictures are now public, uploaded to servers in many different countries, and she is OK with it.

In what cases and to what extent would she be liable for child pornography related offences?

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  • Also, do we assume Alice was also in the EU when she was younger? – Brian Drake Nov 12 '20 at 5:41
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"The EU" is a lot of different jurisdictions, and laws vary between them. The following answer applies to the UK.

A: Alice is guilty of making and possessing indecent images of a child. The fact that the child was herself is irrelevant, as are her current feelings on the subject. The "making" offence was committed when she was under 18, so for that she would be treated as a child, but the possession offence would be be charged at her current age.

If Alice has made recent copies of the pictures, for instance by moving her files to another computer, then she is guilty of "making" as an adult.

B: As with "A", but with increased penalties for publishing it.

C: As with "B", except that the offence was committed when she was under 18.

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  • Thank you, that's very interesting. Do you know of any precedents on this? I have a feeling law wouldn't be enforced strictly in case A. – Smartops Mar 1 '20 at 17:52
  • @Smartops Since Alice is already being charged with some other crime in A, it's very likely she'd also be charged with possession as well since it's an easy win for the prosecution. They might not charge Alice with "making" since it would be hard to prove she made it and the minimal effect a child sentence would have. – Ross Ridge Mar 1 '20 at 18:55

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