Child pornography is one of the crimes that society finds most objectionable. In New Jersey, there tends to be a prejudice against anyone who is even accused of possessing or distributing child pornography, regardless of whether the accused has had a chance to defend himself or herself. This is unfortunate, because in many cases child pornography defendants are not even aware how illicit images made their way onto their computers.

A former Butler, New Jersey, man will face a serious sentence after pleading guilty Tuesday to distributing child pornography over Facebook. The man said that he downloaded images of children onto his cellphone and later posted the photos to Facebook. He told a judge that he did not know these actions constituted distributing child pornography.

As a result of a plea deal, the 46-year-old will serve three years in a New Jersey prison, but he will be eligible for parole after nine months, according to The Star-Ledger.

The man will also be forced to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law, and this part of the sentence may affect him for the rest of his life. The New Jersey law requires sex offenders to report their home addresses to local public agencies. Registration information may also be available to the public online, and this can permanently hinder a person’s reputation, career and personal life.

Those who face criminal charges related to child pornography or other sex crimes should be sure they understand their legal rights. New Jersey prosecutors pursue these cases tenaciously, and it is important for defendants to respond with the best possible defense strategy.

Source: The Star-Ledger, “Man pleads guilty to using Facebook to distribute child porn,” Ben Horowitz, Oct. 1, 2013