Child pornography is defined as any visual depiction (photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture), whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where the visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;  even if the visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or if it has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  

The law prohibits knowingly producing, distributing, receiving, or possessing with intent to distribute, a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture or painting that depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and is obscene,  depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex and such depiction lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Sexually explicit conduct is defined as actual or simulated sexual intercourse (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 under the age of 18, which makes them a "Minor".

Child pornography exists in multiple formats including print media, videotape, film, CD-ROM, or DVD.  It is transmitted on various platforms within the Internet including newsgroups, Internet Relay Chat (chat rooms), Instant Message, File Transfer Protocol, e-mail, websites, and peer-to-peer technology.

Child pornography possessors are a diverse group - including people who are sexually interested in prepubescent children or young adolescents, who use child pornography for sexual fantasy and gratification, people who are sexually “indiscriminate,”;  meaning, that they are constantly looking for new and different sexual stimuli. Those who are sexually curious, download a few images to satisfy that curiosity,  and those people  interested in profiting financially sell images or set up web sites requiring payment for access to it.

It is difficult to describe a “typical” child pornography possessor because there is not just one type of person who commits this crime.  More than half of the child victims were abused by someone who had legitimate access to them such as parents, other relatives, neighborhood/family friends, babysitters, and coaches. 

The content in these illegal images varies from exposure of genitalia to graphic sexual abuse, such as penetration by objects, anal penetration, and bestiality.  The victims always appear to be prepubescent, infants, or toddlers.  It is important to realize that these images are  a permanent record of the abuse of a child. 

The lives of the children featured in these illegal images and videos are forever altered. Once these images are on the Internet, they are irretrievable and can continue to circulate forever. The child is re-victimized as the images are viewed again and again.