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A 51-year-old math tutor is being charged for an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student, but not for the reasons you might expect.

So how is the having a sexual relationship okay, but a picture isn’t? 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code, which covers sexual assault, defines a child as “a person younger than 17 years of age.” But Section 43.26 says defines child pornography as “visual material that visually depicts a child younger than 18 years of age …

engaging in sexual conduct.” Sexual conduct includes “lewd exhibition,” so a nude photo of a 17-year-old is illegal, even though having sex with them is not.

It’s unclear why there is a discrepancy between the age restrictions for these actions, but it could have to do with the evolution of who is considered a minor.

A proposed draft of the penal law from 1970 defines a minor as someone under 16, a 1972 draft says under 17, and today, a minor is someone under 18.

Laws against child pornography and related offenses seem to be in lock step with who is considered a minor, as those drafts show.

Similar federal laws also define a child as a minor under the age of 18.Since the age of consent is different, that accounts for the one-year gap.The criminal justice system comes down particularly hard on sex offenses, especially in Texas.Lawmakers, judges and prosecutors are pressured by society to be ruthless, unforgiving and aggressive on sex offenders, especially child sex offenders.For this reason, persons accused of a sex crime in Texas typically face harsh punishments that don’t always fit the crime such as many years in prison or a lifetime sex offender registration.Being convicted of a sex offense in Texas can change the projection of your entire life as you deal with potential time in prison, steep fines, registering as a sex offender, undue stress, not to mention the loss of your job, freedom and reputation.The stakes could not be higher, which is why it is imperative you have the best local sex crime defense attorney fighting for you during this difficult time.We can apply decades of experience and extensive knowledge of Texas sex criminal law to your case, ensuring the best possible outcome.We are often able to favorably resolve sex crime cases quickly and quietly, without the need for trial.SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION Most sex offenses in Texas are considered felonies under state law.If convicted, the penalties of a first degree, second degree or state jail felony carry the potential for up to multiple years in prison, steep fines and sex offender registration.

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