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What is the statute of limitation on. RCW 9.68A.070 Possession of depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Seattle, WA |

What confuses me is i found the statute of limitation portions on the RCW web site.
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9A.04.080. But under this portion their is a change in 2013 that does not make sence. So looking to see if some one can tell me currently what the statue of limitation would be for anything under this RCW 9.68A.070

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

A violation of RCW 9.68A.070 is a felony. It can be either a class B or class C felony depending on the circumstances. The normal statute of limitations for filing felony charges is three years from the time the offense is committed. I see nothing in the RCW that would make a violation of 9.68A.070 subject to a different statute of limitations.

That being said, possession of child pornography is an on-going offense as long as the person is still in possession of the images. So the statute of limitations only starts running either at the time the person is caught and the images are confiscated, or at the time the person gets rid of the images themselves. Either one of those would start the three-year clock running.

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Asker

Posted

With a situation like this, if the photos were deleted can they not come back and do "forensic science" on the phone or computer and retrieve these photos, so no one can "truly delete" anything any more.

Adrian Martinez Madrone

Adrian Martinez Madrone

Posted

Yes. It is possible to forensically retrieve things on phones and computers that the user has "deleted." The only solution is to destroy the phone or hard drive on which images were stored. This means more than just throwing the device away. This means taking the device or hard drive to a data destruction company and paying them to completely destroy it.

Asker

Posted

So then i would conclude based on that Logic that no one can really "delete" anything unless they follow those steps. So for legal purpose does the court see "deleting" them as not having possession or do you have to completely destroy them to not have possession

Adrian Martinez Madrone

Adrian Martinez Madrone

Posted

It is impossible to know whether a court would view the deletion as the end of possession. That is case-specific, and you probably won't know until the court decides. If you have not been charged yet and are trying to play it as safe as possible, destruction of the electronic devices is probably the safest bet.

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