Sex Laws in Thailand Part 1
US Sex Laws Abroad: The Long Arm of Uncle Sam
© Chaninat and Leeds, US Attorneys in Thailand
3 September 2009
Repeat offenders are subject to life imprisonment (unless the death sentence is applicable) for a federal sex crime involving a minor if the defendant had previously been convicted of a federal or US state sex offense involving a minor. Otherwise, penalties for repeat offenders involving sex crimes are doubled.
The statute of limitations is not applicable during the life of the victim for violations of federal laws against the sexual abuse of minors. In addition, if later, prosecutions may be brought up to ten years after the crime.
3. Child Pornography
US federal law prohibits any person from “us[ing], persuad[ing], induc[ing], entic[ing], or coerc[ing]” any minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct (which may be actual or simulated) to produce a visual depiction (including a live transmission) if such person knows or has reason to know that such visual depiction will be “transported or transmitted using any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce or in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or mailed” or if such visual depiction is actually so transported or transmitted or if such visual depiction was produced or transmitted with materials that have been transported in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce.
It is also unlawful for any person to have a minor assist in any of the foregoing or to transport any minor in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in any of the foregoing or for any parent or guardian to allow a minor in his or her custody to do any of the foregoing. It is also unlawful to seek or offer any such visual depictions or to seek or offer any minor for the purpose of producing any such visual depictions if any notice or advertisement is transported by US mail or using or in interstate or foreign commerce or if the defendant knew or should have known that such means would be used.
The Protect Act added a specific provision for activity outside the United States, making it unlawful for any person to “use, persuade, induce, entice, or coerce” any minor make (or have a minor assist in making) such visual depictions outside of the US where such person intends such visual depictions to be transported or transmitted to the US or where such person actually transports such visual depictions to the US.
The penalty for producing such visual depictions is 15 to 30 years imprisonment (increased to 30 to 50 years if a person has a prior related conviction or 35 years to life if a person has two or more related convictions). If a death occurs in connection with the production of such visual depictions, the penalty is increased to 30 years to life. Any person who transfers or obtains custody for the purpose of producing such visual depictions is subject to a penalty of 30 years to life. Attempts and conspiracies to commit the above crimes are subject to the same penalties.
The transport, sale or receipt of any “visual depiction” of a minor engaging in “sexually explicit conduct” is a violation of US federal law if the US mail or any means or facility of or affecting interstate or foreign commerce is used. The possession (or the accessing with intent to view) of any materials (books, video tapes, etc.) containing any such visual depiction is also unlawful if said materials have been delivered by US mail or transported using any means or facility of or affecting interstate or foreign commerce. The penalty for transport, sale or receipt is 5 to 20 years imprisonment, and the penalty for possession or accessing is up to 10 years imprisonment, subject in each case to increase for repeat offenders.
US federal law contains similar prohibitions against “child pornography,” which is broadly defined to include both (i) digital or computer-generated images of a minor engaged in “graphic sexual intercourse”, “lascivious simulated sexual intercourse” or graphic or lascivious simulated bestiality, masturbation, sadism or masochism or “graphic or simulated lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area” and (ii) “created, adapted, or modified” depictions of an identifiable minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. These provisions also prohibit the advertisement or solicitation of child pornography and the production with intent to distribute any child pornography which is “an adapted or modified depiction of an identifiable minor”. The penalties correspond to the penalties set forth in the previous paragraph, except that the production with intent to distribute child pornography which is an adapted or modified visual depiction carries a penalty of up to 15 years imprisonment.
Attempts and conspiracies to commit the above crimes are subject to the same penalties.
Sex Laws in Thailand Part2: Laws Regulating Commercial Sex and Entertainment Places
US Extradition Treaty
Us Law Enforcement Cooperation: A case study in Thailand
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