Assemblywoman Addie J Russell (D-Theresa) announced the Assembly passed legislation she supported to make it illegal to knowingly access child pornography online – bringing New York into line with federal law (A.10713). This measure is expected to become law.
“Keeping the law up to date with technology is essential for the protection of our children,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “This measure ensures penalties for those who would harm our children by making it a crime to knowingly access child pornography on the Internet with the intent to view it.”
On May 8, the state Court of Appeals ruled that viewing child pornography on the Internet without taking further action to possess it, such as printing, downloading or saving the files, does not constitute possession of child pornography. Current state law prohibits the possession and promotion of child pornography, but doesn’t address knowingly viewing or accessing it online, Assemblywoman Russell noted.
“Our child pornography laws are not up to date,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “The Assembly’s legislation will fix this problem, catch more criminals and make sure these criminals are brought to justice.”
The legislation will make it a class E felony to knowingly access with the intent to view a sexual performance by a child less than 16 years old. In addition, this measure will clarify that attorneys are not guilty of possession of child pornography when such possession is part of the attorney’s representation of a defendant charged with a child pornography crime.
“This legislation will go a long way toward strengthening penalties against sexual predators and protecting our children from these criminals,” Assemblywoman Russell said.