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Mandated Reporting and the Sexual Exploitation of Children

Presented by David Jensen, JD, Staff Attorney - 1 CE Hours

Workshop Description:

The subject of mandated reporting and the sexual exploitation of children is complex and the nuances of these laws are little understood by many practitioners. In this one-hour lecture, Dave Jensen, JD, a CAMFT staff attorney, reviews California’s sexual exploitation statutes and some significant law cases that help comprise the law on this complex but relevant subject. Are these laws designed just to protect children from inappropriate touching? Or, are the images of children in sexually-suggestive situations enough to trigger one’s mandated reporting responsibilities? What about minors and sexting? And, what if someone inadvertently accesses child pornography? These are some of the questions that will be discussed in this one-hour lecture.

In February, 2015 a lawsuit was filed that challenges whether changes made to the sexual exploitation statute by AB 1775 (downloading, streaming, or accessing obscene sexual conduct involving minors) are constitutional. A decision of the court is expected in late September, 2015. This lecture proceeds from the premise that AB 1775 merely updates the law in terms of modern technology. If the final decision of the court changes any of the provisions covered in this presentation, CAMFT will prepare an updated version of it and notify members accordingly.

Learning Objectives: 
1Identify three themes that have dominated this issue since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of New York v. Ferber was decided in 1982.
2. Distinguish between the criminal statute regarding exploitation of children and the mandated reporting statute regarding sexual exploitation of children.
3. Create a framework for identifying mandated reporting issues when sexual exploitation of children is suspected or discovered.
4. Describe the various aspects of the legal concept of sexual exploitation of children.
5. Explain how the laws that pertain to sexual exploitation of children affect cases involving minors and sexting, and the inadvertent accessing of child pornography.