Yuba City, CA asked in Juvenile Law for California

Q: Can a 16 year old girl in canada send nudes to a 23 year old in the USA legally. Because age of consent in canada is 16

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1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The intricacies of International Law and Federal Law. Here is the problem, in the U.S. child pornography and its possession are prohibited under federal and state laws. If you possess it in the US you are committing a crime. A "child" is strictly defined in federal law as someone under the age of 18, without limit as to where the pornography in question originated, and without variation based on the different ages of consent in different states. Fed law specifies nude photos, whether a sexual act is depicted or not. Possession is a crime. Federal jurisdiction occurs when the pornography travels in interstate commerce, and using the Internet is ALWAYS interstate commerce. So while the photos of the 16 year old may be legal in Canada, they are most definitely illegal in the US. My review of Federal Law shows that the age of consent has little or nothing to do with whether something is child pornography, it may even be illegal in Canada, at the age of 16.

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