The distribution of obscene materials to minors is a serious crime punishable under federal law.
This type of behavior is illegal because the general public and legislators have deemed it
harmful to minors because they are not capable of making informed decisions about what they
view or receive.
As a result, Congress has enacted laws to protect minors from being exposed to obscene
material and hold those responsible for distributing such material accountable.
Recently, an El Paso man was arrested for just such behavior and will be prosecuted at the
federal level for his alleged actions.
How exactly do these laws work? What do they cover? What penalties are associated with
In this post, we’ll cover all of that.
What Laws Cover Distributing Obscene Materials to Minors at the Federal Level?
The distribution of obscene materials to minors is regulated by Section 1470 of Title 18 of the
United States Code. This law makes it illegal to use the mail or any other facility of interstate or
foreign commerce to transfer or send any obscene material to a person under the age of 18.
The law defines obscene material as any communication, picture, sound recording, or other
matter that depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way and lacks serious
literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
How Serious are the Penalties for Providing Minors with Obscene Material?
Penalties for violating this law can be severe. Conviction for distributing obscene materials to
minors can result in a fine and a prison sentence of up to 10 years. Additionally, those who are
convicted under this law may be required to register as a sex offender, which can have a
significant impact on their future employment and personal life.
What Will Happen to the Recently Arrested Man from El Paso?
Before you can understand the charges, you need to know the story – at charged by the FBI.
Allegedly, the man was using social media to communicate with minors, including sending them
explicit images and videos. Because of this, he was arrested and charged with violating federal
law by using the internet to distribute obscene materials to minors.
The FBI investigates these types of cases very seriously, adhering to the intent of lawmakers to
protect minors from being exposed to harmful material. To this end, the FBI has a specific
division dedicated to investigating cases of online exploitation of minors, and they work closely
with local law enforcement to bring those who violate the law to justice.
While no one can know the outcome of the El Paso case because it is still ongoing, the charged
man will likely face the possibility of fines and a sentence in federal prison.
What’s the takeaway?
The distribution of obscene materials to minors is considered incredibly serious. If you are
charged with this type of crime, there is a chance that you could end up facing charges at the
federal level – particularly if state lines are crossed (even digitally) in the commission of the act.
In order to protect his rights and fight for his future, the El Paso man is going to need to put
together the strongest legal defense possible. That means working with an attorney who has
had success handling these types of crimes at the federal level, where procedures vary from
those for state courts.