NRS 200.710 is the Nevada child pornography law that prohibits knowingly using a minor to "simulate or engage in sexual conduct to produce a performance." In short, it is illegal to use a child under 18 to create pornography.
Violating NRS 200.710 is a category A felony in Nevada, carrying:
- life in Nevada State Prison with the possibility of parole,
- up to $100,000 in fines, and
- 25 years on the Nevada Sex Offender Registry (Tier II)
But after conducting a thorough investigation, the defense attorney may convince the prosecutors to lessen or dismiss the charges through a Nevada plea bargain. Three common defense strategies to combat NRS 200.710 charges include:
- the defendant did not act knowingly,
- the performance was protected by the U.S. Constitution, and
- the defendant was falsely accused
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss the Nevada offense of using a child to produce pornography. Click on a topic to jump to that section:
- 1. Definition
- 2. Penalties
- 3. Defenses
- 4. Immigration consequences
- 5. Record seals
- 6. Related offenses
NRS 200.710 makes it a Nevada crime when a person "knowingly uses, encourages, entices or permits a minor to" either:
- simulate or engage in sexual conduct to produce a performance;
- assist others to simulate or engage in sexual conduct to produce a performance; or
- be the subject of a sexual portrayal in a performance (regardless of whether the minor is aware that the sexual portrayal is part of a performance)1
In short, it is against state law to use or allow a child under 18-years-old to engage in sexual acts as part of a performance.2 It makes no difference whether the performance is live -- such as in a theater or live-streamed over the internet -- or recorded as a photograph, video, film, or audio file.3
Nevada law counts each sexual performance involving a minor as a separate criminal count.4 So if a defendant allegedly used a minor to engage in sexual activity in two separate photo shoots, the defendant would face two counts of violating NRS 200.710.
Violating NRS 200.710 is a category A felony, carrying:
- life in prison, and
- up to $100,000 in fines
If the child is under 14-years old, the defendant may be eligible for parole after ten (10) years of prison. If the child is 14-years old or older, parole eligibility may begin after five (5) years in prison.5
Furthermore, the defendant may need to forfeit to the state any money or assets derived from the proceeds of the pornography. Learn more about asset forfeiture in Nevada.6
Finally, defendants would be required to register as a Tier II sex offender in Nevada for 25 years. Their identities would be publicly searchable online.7
Note that the D.A. may be willing to substantially reduce or dismiss the charges after negotiating with defense attorneys.
The three main defenses to NRS 200.710 charges are:
- the defendant did not act knowingly,
- the performance was not pornography, and/or
- the defendant was falsely accused
3.1. The defendant did not act knowingly
Criminal charges for using a minor to make child pornography apply only when the defendant acted "knowingly."8
Example: Ken is hired in Las Vegas as a casting director for what the producers told him is a sitcom pilot about lower school. It turns out this is just a front for making kiddie porn videos. As long as Ken has no idea what the project is actually for, he should not be convicted of helping to produce child pornography.
If this case went to trial, the D.A. would have the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ken acted knowingly. It is often difficult for prosecutors to prove state of mind because there is no way to know for sure what a person is thinking.
3.2. The performance was not pornography
Sometimes the line separating pornography from constitutionally-protected art is fuzzy. Criminal charges should not stand if the defense attorney can show that the material in question has serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.9 For evidence, the defense attorney may rely on expert witness testimony or other examples of sexual performances that are protected by the First Amendment.
3.3. The defendant was falsely accused
Perhaps someone levied false allegations against the defendant out of revenge or anger. Sometimes children lie, especially if they do not realize the consequences of their untruthfulness. A defense attorney would work to compile witnesses, alibis, and other evidence to demonstrate that the defendant did nothing illegal.
Using a child to make pornography is a crime involving moral turpitude and therefore a deportable offense in Nevada.10 Non-citizens charged with violating NRS 200.710 should retain experienced counsel to try to get the charges dismissed or changed to non-removable offenses. Learn more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Nevada.
People convicted of violating NRS 200.710 may never have their Nevada criminal record sealed.11 But if the charge gets dismissed, then they can pursue a record seal right away.12 Learn about how to seal Nevada criminal records.
6.1. Promoting a child sexual performance
The Nevada crime of promoting a sexual performance with a child (NRS 200.720) is punished the same as producing child pornography. It is a category A felony carrying a life sentence and up to $100,000 in fines.
6.2. Advertising or distributing child pornography
The Nevada crime of advertising child pornography (NRS 200.725) is a category B felony in Nevada. The penalty is one to fifteen (1- 15) years in prison and/or up to $15,000 in fines.
6.3. Using the internet to view child pornography
The Nevada crime of viewing child pornography on the internet (NRS 200.727) is prosecuted as a category C felony in Nevada as a first offense. The penalty is one to five (1- 5) years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 (at the judge's discretion).
6.4. Possessing child pornography
The Nevada crime of possessing child pornography (NRS 200.730) is prosecuted as a category B felony in Nevada for a first offense. The penalty is one to six (1 - 6) years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines (at the judge's discretion).
Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney...
Have you been arrested on child pornography charges in Nevada? Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys are available to help you right now. Call 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a FREE consultation.
We may be able to persuade the prosecutors to substantially reduce or even dismiss your charges. And if necessary, we are prepared to go to trial and fight for an acquittal.
- NRS 200.710 Unlawful to use minor in producing pornography or as subject of sexual portrayal in performance.
1. A person who knowingly uses, encourages, entices or permits a minor to simulate or engage in or assist others to simulate or engage in sexual conduct to produce a performance is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 200.750.
2. A person who knowingly uses, encourages, entices, coerces or permits a minor to be the subject of a sexual portrayal in a performance is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 200.750, regardless of whether the minor is aware that the sexual portrayal is part of a performance.
- State v. Hughes, 127 Nev. 626, 261 P.3d 1067 (2011)(Minor means children under 18 years old.).
- NRS 200.700 Definitions. As used in NRS 200.700 to 200.760, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. “Performance” means any play, film, photograph, computer-generated image, electronic representation, dance or other visual presentation.
2. “Promote” means to produce, direct, procure, manufacture, sell, give, lend, publish, distribute, exhibit, advertise or possess for the purpose of distribution.
3. “Sexual conduct” means sexual intercourse, lewd exhibition of the genitals, fellatio, cunnilingus, bestiality, anal intercourse, excretion, sado-masochistic abuse, masturbation, or the penetration of any part of a person's body or of any object manipulated or inserted by a person into the genital or anal opening of the body of another.
4. “Sexual portrayal” means the depiction of a person in a manner which appeals to the prurient interest in sex and which does not have serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
- Casteel v. State, 122 Nev. 356, 131 P.3d 1 (2006)(Some criminal counts were dismissed when the state could not show that the photos in question were taken during separate performances.); Wilson v. State, 121 Nev. 345, 114 P.3d 285 (2005)(It is only one count of violating NRS 200.710 to take several photographs of a child during one sexual performance.).
- NRS 200.750 Penalties. A person punishable pursuant to NRS 200.710 or 200.720 shall be punished for a category A felony by imprisonment in the state prison:
1. If the minor is 14 years of age or older, for life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 5 years has been served, and shall be further punished by a fine of not more than $100,000.
2. If the minor is less than 14 years of age, for life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 10 years has been served, and shall be further punished by a fine of not more than $100,000.
- NRS 200.760 Forfeiture. All assets derived from or relating to any violation of NRS 200.366, 200.710 to 200.730, inclusive, or 201.230 are subject to forfeiture. A proceeding for their forfeiture may be brought pursuant to NRS 179.1156 to 179.1205, inclusive.
- NRS 179D.115.
- See NRS 200.710.
- See NRS 200.700.
- See I.N.A. § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I).); I.N.A. § 237(a)(2)(A)(i).
- NRS 179.245.
- NRS 179.255.