Austin Sexual Performance by a Child Lawyer

Sexual Performance by a Child Attorney in Austin, TX

There are several categories that fall under the charge of Sexual Performance of a Child and Attorney Paul Darrow understands the defense of each one. The crime of sexual performance by a child is more about criminalizing performances than sexual conduct. The term “sexual performance” includes videos, photographs, and live acts such as dancing. This is a very serious accusation and it is imperative for you to reach out to an Austin Sexual Performance by a Child Lawyer as soon as you know that you are under investigation or that charges are imminent.

A “performance” must be first, of a child (under this statute a person under the age of 18, not 17 – the normal age of consent in Texas), and second, depicting that child’s genitals or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola. Any adult who either employs, authorizes, or induces the child to perform in such a “performance” may be subject to prosecution under this law. Likewise, performances that depict sexual conduct by a child—such as intercourse, masturbation, etc.—can also become the basis of a charge under this law.

Even in cases where the child does not actually participate in an act of sexual conduct, the performance can be the subject of a prosecution where it simulates such sexual conduct.  If the performance suggests that the child depicted would be willing to engage in sexual activity—as with certain sexually suggestive poses—then an adult involved can be charged with this crime.

A person who is found guilty under this section of the law can be charged with a second-degree felony, punishable by between 2 and 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.  Where the child is under the age of 14, it is a first-degree felony punishable by between 5 and 99 years, or life in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. It’s absolutely crucial that the retainer of an Austin Sexual Performance by a Child Attorney be swift and carefully conducted. Paul Darrow has defended many individuals accused of such a crime and helped to ease their stress with a tactical and solid defense.

“Manufacturing a Performance”

Additionally, the adult who contributes to the manufacture of the performance can also be prosecuted.  The concept of “manufacturing a performance” is somewhat confusing, but examples include recording video, taking photographs, and other means of committing the performance to some tangible medium.  To manufacture is to make the performance a product.

Once the performance has been “manufactured,” any person who helps to promote the performance can also be charged with this offense.  By “promote”, the government can mean either the actual “manufacture,” or the following numerous acts:

  • Procuring, or purposefully taking possession of the material;
  • Issuing the material to another;
  • Selling the material to another;
  • Giving the material to another;
  • Providing the material to another;
  • Lending the material to another;
  • Mailing the material to another;
  • Delivering the material to another;
  • Transferring the material to another;
  • Transmitting the material;
  • Publishing the material;
  • Distributing the material;
  • Circulating the material;
  • Disseminating the material;
  • Presenting the material;
  • Exhibiting the material; or
  • Advertise or offer or agree to do any of those things with respect to the material.

This list may seem repetitive and redundant.  And that is because it is.  Because of Texas’s voters’ demands to protect children from being exploited, lawmakers have criminalized a laundry list of acts relating to sexual performance by a child.  It is important to note that many of these terms can also refer to electronic transfers, such as email attachments and use of file-sharing websites.

For the individual accused of either producing, directing, or promoting a sexual performance by a child, the offense is a third-degree felony punishable by between 2 and 10 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.  As with the other section of the statute, the punishment is more severe where the child is under the age of 14, as the offense is classified as a second-degree felony punishable by between 2 and 20 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000. The varied acts which are chargeable and the punishments that follow them are detrimental and severe, making your need for an Austin sex crimes attorney all the more necessary.

Defenses to Sexual Performance by a Child

Because the law is especially strict in areas where it attempts to protect children, there are very few legal defenses for child sex crimes, aside from proving that the act never occurred.  In the case of Sexual Performance by a Child, the law provides for three affirmative defenses.  An affirmative defense is one in which the accused admits to the act but also presents evidence of additional facts which provide him with a legal excuse.

  • The defendant and child were married at the time.  As with sexual assault of a child, it is a defense that the defendant and the child were married at the time of the performance.  This is not a defense where the defendant and the child married after the alleged performance.
  • The conduct was for a bona fide educational, medical, psychological, psychiatric, judicial, law enforcement, or legislative purpose.  Because the definition of the statute could implicate certain educational materials for doctors, health service providers, and lawmakers and enforcers, the government has created a defense where the performance was for this purpose.
  • The defendant is not more than two years older than the child.  This is similar to the “Romeo and Juliet” defense against sexual assault of a child.  For better or worse, the proliferation and affordability of smart phones have led to the common practice of men and women sending illicit photographs to one another.  Many teenagers these days have smart phones and also send illicit photos to each other.  This defense is meant to protect “high school sweethearts” from prosecution under this statute.


Paul Darrow’s experience prosecuting sex crimes lends him the unique advantage of understanding the law comprehensively and also anticipating the tactics the Prosecution will employ against a defendant. An individual accused of Sexual Performance of a Child should not pass up the opportunity of having this exclusive benefit working for them. Austin Sex Crimes Attorney Paul Darrow is this benefit.