Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Georgia Youth Minister Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of a Child

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

According to reports out of Gordon County, former youth minister, Zachary Baker, pleaded guilty to the following charges:

Baker was sentenced eight years in prison for trying to solicit sex from a person he presumed was a teenage boy. Baker believed he was chatting online with a 14-year-old boy, however, he was actually conversing with Police Captain Ojilvia Lom of Floyd County.

As a Georgia Sex Crimes Lawyer, I will outline what constitutes the sexual exploitation of a child.

Sexual Exploitation of a Child in Georgia

The Georgia Code, in O.C.G.A. §16-12-100, the statute outlines the eight various ways that an individual can commit sexual exploitation of a child. The statute states the following:

(1) It is unlawful for any person knowingly to employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, or coerce any minor to engage in or assist any other person to engage in any sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual medium depicting such conduct.

(2) It is unlawful for any parent, legal guardian, or person having custody or control of a minor knowingly to permit the minor to engage in or to assist any other person to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual medium depicting such conduct.

(3) It is unlawful for any person knowingly to employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, or coerce any minor to engage in or assist any other person to engage in any sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of any performance.

(4) It is unlawful for any parent, legal guardian, or person having custody or control of a minor knowingly to permit the minor to engage in or to assist any other person to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of any performance.

(5) It is unlawful for any person knowingly to create, reproduce, publish, promote, sell, distribute, give, exhibit, or possess with intent to sell or distribute any visual medium which depicts a minor or a portion of a minor's body engaged in any sexually explicit conduct.

(6) It is unlawful for any person knowingly to advertise, sell, purchase, barter, or exchange any medium, which provides information as to where any visual medium, which depicts a minor, or a portion of a minor's body engaged in any sexually explicit conduct can be found or purchased.

(7) It is unlawful for any person knowingly to bring or cause to be brought into this state any material, which depicts a minor, or a portion of a minor's body engaged in any sexually explicit conduct.

(8) It is unlawful for any person knowingly to possess or control any material, which depicts a minor, or a portion of a minor's body engaged in any sexually explicit conduct.

If a person commits sexual exploitation of a child by the actions described in parts (1), (5), (7), or (8), and the minor depicted was at least 14-years-old, then the accused person may be facing a misdemeanor. However, there are other conditions that must be met as well including: the medium was created with the permission of the child, the accused person was 18 years-old or younger at the time of the crime, the medium was not distributed to anyone else, and the medium was not made for the purpose of harassing, intimidating, or embarrassing the child. 

For all other parts or if the circumstances aren't met, then the accused person will be guilty of a felony. The penalties if convicted of felony exploitation can include between five and twenty years in prison as well as a fine up to $100,000.

Practice Note

Sex Crime Laws in Georgia are extremely complicated. There are many contingencies and particular circumstances that can completely change the criminal offense. If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a sex crime, contact our offices today. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense. He exclusively handles DUI Cases. As a former DUI Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. You only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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