Barclay: Court of Appeals Points Out Need to Strengthen Laws on Child Pornography

May 11, 2012

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski) expressed dismay and the need for legislative action after the New York State Court of Appeals ruled earlier this week that viewing child pornography is not a crime. The court’s decision stated that downloading and saving images of child pornography is a crime, but merely viewing does not constitute criminal possession.

“Given the latest ruling from the New York State Court of Appeals, it’s clear we need to strengthen our laws,” said Barclay. “The court ruled that Internet users could only be penalized if these vile images were proven to be printed, downloaded or stored on a drive for later viewing. In order to ensure justice and keep young children from being exploited, the Legislature must move to pass legislation that would include the viewing of child pornography as a crime.”

Barclay is in support of legislation that would strengthen the laws and ensure that viewing child pornography on the internet is punishable in and of itself.

The Court of Appeals ruling came in the case of James D. Kent, a Marist College professor convicted of two counts of procuring and 134 counts of possessing pornographic images of children performing sexual acts. The court ruled Kent was properly convicted because he had downloaded, saved and deleted 132 images, but felt the temporary files automatically stored from sites he viewed cannot be held against him under state law.