There are many sexual offences in the criminal law, including but not limited to child pornography, sexual exploitation, and sexual assault. Each has a particular definition and punishment range. For those convicted of certain offences, there are minimum sentences of imprisonment.
In addition to the formal sentence of those convicted, there is the extraordinary stigma of being labelled a sex offender, child molester or predator. A constant effort is required to prevent the attitudes and feelings that often surround these cases from resulting in unfairness, excesses and miscarriages of justice.
There are some special procedures and evidentiary rules that can apply in this area. They include unusual provisions regarding background evidence and young witnesses.
For all criminal investigations or charges, it is wise to consult counsel immediately and to avoid making statements to others at least until that is done.