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Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography

Facing a court-martial, UCMJ action, Administrative Separation Board, or other Adverse Administrative Action for Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography? Call our experienced military defense lawyers at 1-800-921-8607 for a free consultation.

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Note: This law applies only to Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019. Child Pornography is also referred to as Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)

What is Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography?

Article 134 Ucmj Producing Child PornographyArticle 134 of the UCMJ addresses producing child pornography, a serious offense involving the creation of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. This crime is treated with utmost severity due to its devastating impact on victims and its moral and legal implications. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

Penalties for producing child pornography under Article 134 are severe and can include long-term confinement, dishonorable discharge, and forfeiture of all pay and allowances. Given these harsh consequences, it is essential for those accused to seek representation from the best military defense lawyers.

Court martial lawyers are critical in defending against such serious charges. They understand the intricacies of military law, can challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and work to protect the accused’s rights. Effective legal representation can significantly impact the case outcome, potentially mitigating severe penalties.

Engaging court martial lawyers like those at Gonzalez & Waddington is crucial for anyone facing charges under Article 134 UCMJ. Their extensive experience in military justice ensures a comprehensive and effective

defense strategy, addressing every aspect of the case to achieve the best possible outcome.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography or Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) vary depending on the date of the offense.

What are the Article 134 UCMJ Child Pornography Offenses?

What are the Elements of Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography?

  1. That (state the time and place alleged) the accused knowingly and wrongfully produced child pornography, to wit: __________; and
  2. That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was (to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces) (of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces) (to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces).

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography?

For Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography offenses committed between 1 January 2019 and 27 December 2023:

  • 30 Years of Confinement
  • Dishonorable Discharge, Bad Conduct Discharge, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Collateral Consequences of a Federal Felony Conviction
  • Collateral Consequences of Registration as a State & Federal Sex Offender

For Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography offenses committed after 27 December 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography or Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) is a Category 4 Offense – Confinement from 120-240 months (10 to 20 years)
  • Dishonorable Discharge, Bad Conduct Discharge, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Collateral Consequences of a Federal Felony Conviction
  • Collateral Consequences of Registration as a State & Federal Sex Offender
  • Note: The Military Judge MAY impose a period of confinement less than the jurisdictional maximum period of confinement upon finding specific facts that warrant such a sentence. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.), Appendix 12B-C

Combined UCMJ Maximum Punishment Charts

Sample Specification for Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography

In that MSgt Timothy Drugal, US Air Force, did, at or near Grand Forks, Air Force Base, North Dakota, on or about 23 September 2025, knowingly and wrongfully produce child pornography, to wit: a film of a minor, or what appears to be a minor, engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and that said conduct was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces and was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

Model Specification for Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data), did, (at/on board—location), on or about __________ knowingly and wrongfully produce child pornography, to wit: a (photograph) (picture) (film) (video) (digital image) (computer image) of a minor, or what appears to be a minor, engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and that said conduct was (to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces) (of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces) (to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces and was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces).

What are the Definitions for Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography or Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)?

“Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline” is conduct that causes a reasonably direct and obvious injury to good order and discipline.

“Service discrediting conduct” is conduct that tends to harm the reputation of the service or lower it in public esteem.

Defining “child pornography” in Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography cases

The definition of “child pornography” used below will depend upon the evidence presented. The first definition below should be given where actual minors are in issue. The second definition below should be given where the depictions do not involve the use of actual minors, or there is some question as to whether actual minors were used in the depictions. If appropriate, give both definitions.

“Child pornography” means material that contains a visual depiction of an actual minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

“Child pornography” (also) means material that contains an obscene visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Such a depiction need not involve an actual minor but instead only what appears to be a minor.

Defining Obscene in Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography Cases

“Obscene” means that the average person applying contemporary community standards would find that the visual images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, when taken as a whole, appeal to the prurient interest in sex and portray sexual conduct in a patently offensive way; and that a reasonable person would not find serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value in the visual images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

“Minor” and “child” mean any person under the age of 18 years.

“Sexually explicit conduct” means actual or simulated:

  • sexual intercourse or sodomy, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex;
  • bestiality;
  • masturbation;
  • sadistic or masochistic abuse; or
  • lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person.

Lascivious Exhibition in Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography Cases

The following instruction on “lascivious exhibition” should be given when there is an issue as to whether an exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person was lascivious. Note that an exhibition of the genitals or pubic area may be lascivious even if those areas are clothed. Note also that nudity and sexually provocative depictions of minors that do not involve the exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person or other sexually explicit conduct are not child pornography.

“Lascivious” means exciting sexual desires or marked by lust. Not every exposure of the genitals or pubic area constitutes a lascivious exhibition. The overall content of the visual depiction should be considered to determine if it constitutes a lascivious exhibition.

In making this determination, you should consider such factors as whether the focal point of the depiction is on the genitals or pubic area, whether the setting is sexually suggestive, whether the child is depicted in an unnatural pose or in inappropriate attire considering the child’s age, whether the child is partially clothed or nude, whether the depiction suggests sexual coyness or willingness to engage in sexual activity, and whether the depiction is intended or designed to elicit a sexual response in the viewer, as well as any other factors that may be equally if not more important in determining whether a visual depiction contains a lascivious exhibition.

A visual depiction, however, need not involve all these factors to be a lascivious exhibition.

“Visual depiction” includes any developed or undeveloped photograph, picture, film, or video; any digital or computer image, picture, film, or video made by any means, including those transmitted by any means, including streaming media, even if not stored in a permanent format; or any digital or electronic data capable of conversion into a visual image.

“Producing” means creating or manufacturing. It refers to making child pornography that did not previously exist. It does not include reproducing or copying.

“Wrongful” means without any legal justification or excuse. Any facts or circumstances that show that a visual depiction of child pornography was unintentionally or inadvertently acquired are relevant to wrongfulness, including, but not limited to, the method by which the visual depiction was acquired, the length of time the visual depiction was maintained, and whether the visual depiction was promptly, and in good faith, destroyed or reported to law enforcement.

An accused may not be convicted of (possessing) (receiving) (viewing) (distributing) (producing) child pornography if he/she did not know that the images were of minors, or what appeared to be minors, engaged in sexually explicit conduct. An act is done “knowingly” if done voluntarily and intentionally. An act done because of a mistake or accident or other innocent reasons is not done “knowingly.”

Knowledge and Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography

Knowledge may be inferred from circumstantial evidence, such as the name of a computer file or folder, the name of the host website from which a visual depiction was viewed or received, search terms used, and the number of images possessed. However, drawing this inference is not required.

Thus, to convict the accused, you must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused knew that he/she (possessed) (received) (viewed) (distributed) (produced) the child pornography. However, it is not required that the accused knew the actual ages of the persons in the child pornography, but he/she must have known or believed the persons to be minors.

Redacted Exhibits and Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography

On motion of the government in any prosecution under this paragraph, except for good cause shown, the name, address, social security number, or other nonphysical identifying information, other than the age or approximate age of any minor who is depicted in any child pornography or visual depiction or copy thereof shall not be admissible and may be redacted from any otherwise admissible evidence. Upon request of the Government, the panel shall be instructed that it can draw no inference from the absence of such evidence. Below is a suggested instruction concerning this issue:

Certain information in Prosecution Exhibit(s) ______ has been redacted as irrelevant to these proceedings. You are not to speculate as to what has been redacted, nor are you to draw any adverse inference from either side of that redaction.

Legal References for Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography

  • Definition of “lascivious exhibition”. See US v. Roderick, 62 MJ 425, 429-430 (CAAF 2006), citing US v. Dost, 636 F.Supp 828 (S.D.Cal., 1986).
  • “Lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person” does not require nudity; the minor or other person in the depiction with the minor may be clothed, provided the genitals or pubic area is a focus of the depiction. See US v. Knox, 32 F.3d 733 (3d Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 513 US 1109 (1995), cited by US v. Anderson, 2010 WL3938363 (ACCA 2010), review denied, 69 MJ 451 (CAAF 2010).

What are the collateral consequences of having to register as a convicted sex offender?

Sex Offenders Often Cannot Live Near or Visit “Places Where Children Congregate.”
What does that mean? It means a registered sex offender may not be allowed to live near or visit schools, parks and playgrounds, beaches, shopping malls, stores, movie theaters, community centers, places of worship, libraries, recreational facilities, skating rinks, bus stops, and many more.

Potential Collateral Consequences of a Conviction of Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography

A military member convicted of Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography must register as a sex offender. A registered sex offender may suffer the following collateral consequences:
    • Denied housing or difficulty finding housing
    • Loss of family
    • Isolation
    • No educational opportunities
    • Unemployable or difficulty finding employment
    • Physical assault
    • Increased homelessness
    • Harassment
    • Financial hardship
    • Stigmatization
    • The decline in mental health
    • No internet access
    • Deterioration of social bonds
    • Loss of residency
    • Difficulty with relationships
    • Social disgrace and humiliation
    • Loss of friends
    • Loss of custody of children
    • Lack of privacy

Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography Military Defense Lawyers

If you are suspected or accused of Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography, aka Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), speak with one of our experienced military court martial lawyers to discuss your case.

Overview of Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography

Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is a general article that addresses various offenses not specifically listed in other articles. One of the serious offenses under Article 134 is the production of child pornography. This offense is considered egregious due to the exploitation and harm caused to minors. The military has stringent laws to address and penalize such conduct to maintain good order, discipline, and the protection of vulnerable individuals within the military community. This guide provides an in-depth understanding of Article 134, including the elements of the offense, potential punishments, and broader implications of a conviction.

Simplified Elements an Article 134 UCMJ CSAM Production Case

To secure a conviction for producing child pornography under Article 134, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Production: The accused produced, or attempted to produce, visual depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. This includes photographing, videotaping, or otherwise creating images or videos.
  • Minor: The individual depicted in the visual representation was under the age of 18 at the time the material was produced.
  • Knowledge: The accused knew or had reason to know that the individual depicted was a minor.
  • Nature of Conduct: The production of such material was prejudicial to good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

Collateral Consequences of a Conviction of Article 134 UCMJ CSAM

A conviction for producing child pornography under Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography has numerous collateral consequences, including:

  • Sex Offender Registration: The convicted individual will be required to register as a sex offender. This involves being listed on public sex offender registries, regular reporting to law enforcement, and facing restrictions on residency and employment.
  • Employment Challenges: Finding civilian employment can be extremely difficult for registered sex offenders, especially those with a dishonorable discharge. Many employers are hesitant to hire individuals with such a conviction.
  • Loss of Military Benefits: Convicted individuals typically lose all military benefits, including retirement pay, healthcare benefits, and access to military facilities.
  • Social Stigma: The social stigma attached to being a registered sex offender can lead to isolation, harassment, and difficulties in maintaining personal relationships.
  • Legal Restrictions: Convicted sex offenders may face various legal restrictions, including limits on internet usage, travel, and contact with minors.

Impact on the Victim in an Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography CSAM Case

The impact of producing child pornography on the victims, who are minors, can be profound and long-lasting. Victims may experience a range of emotional, psychological, and physical effects, including:

  • Emotional Trauma: Feelings of shame, guilt, and anxiety are common among victims of child pornography. These feelings can persist into adulthood and affect all areas of life.
  • Psychological Issues: Victims may develop mental health conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other anxiety disorders.
  • Physical Health Problems: The abuse involved in producing child pornography can lead to physical injuries and long-term health issues.
  • Behavioral Changes: Victims may exhibit changes in behavior, such as withdrawal from social activities, difficulty in school, and increased risk-taking behaviors.
  • Relationship Difficulties: Trust issues and difficulties in forming healthy relationships are common among survivors of child pornography.

Legal Defenses in an Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography CSAM Case

Accused individuals have the right to present a defense against charges of producing child pornography under Article 134. Common defenses include:

  • False Accusations: The defense may present evidence suggesting that the accusations are false or motivated by ulterior motives.
  • Mistaken Identity: The defense may argue that the accused was not the individual who produced the material.
  • Lack of Knowledge: The defense may argue that the accused did not know and could not reasonably have known that the individual depicted was a minor.
  • Entrapment: The defense may argue that law enforcement officials induced the accused to commit an offense they otherwise would not have committed.

Importance of Legal Representation in an Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography CSAM Case

Given the serious nature of the charges and the severe consequences of a conviction, it is crucial for individuals accused of producing child pornography under Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography to seek experienced legal representation. A qualified military defense attorney can provide guidance, build a strong defense, and protect the accused’s rights throughout the legal process.

Speak to Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Your Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography Case

Article 134 UCMJ’s provisions on producing child pornography are designed to protect minors within the military community and uphold the standards of conduct required for military service. The severe penalties and collateral consequences of an Article 134 UCMJ Producing Child Pornography conviction underscore the gravity of such offenses. Understanding the elements of the offense, potential defenses, and the importance of legal representation is essential for anyone facing such charges.

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