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What is receipt of child pornography? (does gmail count)

San Francisco, CA |

If one is sent pornographic images of minors (appear under 18) via gmail, and the images are viewed but not downloaded, does this count as receipt of child porn? Are you ok as long as you do not down load the images? What if you send an email back to the person who sent them acknowledging that you received the email?

If this is a crime -what are the potential penalties?

Attorney Answers 2


Any form of receiving images like that can lead to a long sentence in federal prison. There are no loopholes.

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Even though you did not "download" the images to your computer, your computer still retained a record of you viewing the imagaes. This is just like if you went to a website and viewed child pornography images on the website - there would still be evidence of what you viewed on your computer.

It is against the law to view pornography depicting children. If you receive such an email, to not open the message, do not acknowledge receiving the message, simply delete it.

If you have been arrested for a child pornography related offense, it is extremely important that you seek the assistance of counsel regarding your rights and responsiblities.


Amanda F. Benedict
Law Office of Amanda F. Benedict
Appeals, Legal Research & Writing Services & Bicycle Accident Litigation
162 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd., Suite F-20
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 942-0054 - phone --- (760) 942-0055 - fax
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