SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION WHICH MAKES VIEWING
CHILD PORNOGRAPHY A FELONY
Bill closes loophole after Court of Appeals ruling that it is not a crime
The New York State Senate passed legislation (S.7407) that would make the viewing of child pornography a felony crime. The bill amends current state law to say that a person is guilty of a crime when the person knowingly accesses child pornography with the intent to view.
The legislation comes after a state Court of Appeals ruling earlier this month that said viewing child pornography on the Internet is not a crime. This legislation closes that loophole.
“This legislation sends a strong message that watching child pornography for any reason is completely unacceptable,” said Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos. “I commend my colleagues for acting on this quickly and, in doing so, we’re conforming to federal guidelines. We must always work to protect children and work to keep them from being exploited in one of the worst ways.”
Earlier this month, the Court of Appeals dismissed two of 143 possession and promotion counts against James Kent, a former Marist College professor who was convicted in 2009. Kent argued that he had reviewed the images as part of a research project on how child porn is regulated. The court decided that to be guilty of possession a person must print, download or save computer files.
The bill has been sent to the Assembly.