Abstract Objectives There are different forms of sexual assault against minors. Child pornography is the realization of deviant fantasies. It has very specific characteristics with regard to its realization and use, and hence to the political actions taken to deal with it. A child pornographer is defined as an adult who uses the sexual depiction of a child for his own interests or for the commercialization of the images. Confusion can be made between child pornographers and online offenders. The online offender is a person who uses the Internet to feed his sexual fantasies virtually, or to groom a child in order to provoke actual contact. Most often, online offenders are child pornographers, because they use child pornography to facilitate contact with the victim. It is important to understand the psychopathological aspects of child pornographers in order to provide appropriate treatment. Understanding the phenomenon of child pornography is complex, because it is sometimes a matter of deviance without leading to actual abuse, and it is this virtual aspect that appears to be encouraged by the Internet. It has probably increased certain deviant behaviours that were previously limited by inhibition. Psychiatric assessments are carried out at the request of the law courts. Forensic psychiatrists have to give psycho-criminological information to explain the offense and to allow the prosecutor to make appropriate decisions. The characteristics of child pornographers are varied. In this study, we analysed forensic assessments in child pornography cases to provide guidelines based on the characteristics of child pornographers described in the literature. Material and methods We analyzed the data of 69 forensic reports. We had previously identified items which are traditionally evaluated in general psychiatric assessments and specific items relating to the characteristics of child pornographers reported in the literature. Using this performance measurement matrix and the 69 forensic reports, we identify the items which appeared in under 10% of the forensic reports. Results We noted 20 items found in under 10% of the forensic reports. In this paper, we describe 11 of these items which appeared to us to be the most important: diagnosis hypothesis, risk of reoffending, time between the offense and the assessment, fantasies, inconsistency when talking about the offense, sense of virtuality, difficulty talking about sexuality, biographical data, addiction to images, information given by the prosecutor to the forensic psychiatrists, currently receiving psychotherapy. Conclusions It is important to carry out qualitative analyses of forensic assessments. Forensic psychiatrists can find a considerable amount of information in the scientific literature to help in their assessments, because they do not always know everything about all deviant behaviours. Standardization is required in the field of forensic psychiatry. In France, forensic psychiatric assessments are made without supervision. There is also interpersonal variation in the assessments. Knowledge about deviance has developed, revealing more specific characteristics about each specific behaviour. The importance of the legal consequences makes this standardization essential. The aim of this qualitative analysis is to produce guidelines to help forensic psychiatrists assess child pornographers. Moreover, it is important to pursue this research in order to improve knowledge about the psychopathological and socio-demographic aspects of offenders. It is also important that the data used for research are as complete as possible. Most often, the only possibility to study deviant behaviour is to use forensic material.