For members of the online community known as "Dreamboard," their dream of viewing, downloading or distributing child pornography has come to an end.
In the largest international child pornography prosecution thus far, the Department of Justice has charged 72 people for their participation in an online community that encouraged members to upload "new" - possibly homemade - child pornography. The online community also developed an online repository of child pornography and made it available to its members. Of the 72 accused members of Dreamboard facing charges, 15 are charged with creating child pornography, 13 have pled guilty to the charges they faced, and 20 members are still at-large.
Federal law defines child pornography as "the visual depiction of a person under the age of 18 engaged in sexually explicit conduct"; this definition includes nude photographs, videos or images of minors who are not engaged in sexual activity.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, penalties for distributing, receiving or possessing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years. Depending on the number of counts of distributing, receiving or possessing child pornography the members of Dreamboard are accused of, the members who have not yet been sentenced could be facing many years in prison.
For the members of Dreamboard that actually produced child pornography that was made available to the rest of the online community, the mandatory minimum sentence for a charge is 15 years in prison up to a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Because child pornography charges carry mandatory minimum sentences, it is important to seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as one is accused of or learns that he or she is being investigated for possession, distribution or receiving child pornography.