In 2011, Joseph Gerber was convicted for possession of child pornography under California Penal Code section 311.11 when he photo-edited his 13-year-old daughter’s face onto the bodies of adult women. However, the 6th District of the California Court of Appeal reversed his conviction because the language of the statute required the child to “personally” engage in the depicted conduct. As a result, in California it is very difficult to successfully prosecute morphed child pornography (where a picture of a real child is manipulated into an unidentifiable minor). In addition, the ability of section 311.11 to protect children is substantially diminished in comparison to the federal Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today Act (PROTECT Act). Therefore, this Comment proposes that California should adopt its own version of the PROTECT Act (“Cal-Pro”). It should have narrow language and a flexible sentencing scheme that recognizes the state’s overcrowding epidemic. With these modifications, Cal-Pro strikes a balance between the goal of the Realignment Plan to reduce prison overcrowding and maximizing the protection of our children.

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