Infuriated NY Lawmakers Close Child Porn Loophole

The New York State Senate passed a bill on Tuesday criminalizing the viewing of child pornography.

The measure was quickly introduced to legislature in an effort to correct a loophole that was highlighted last week when the New York Court of Appeals ruled that viewing child porn was not illegal according to state laws. The court had outlined that while the current New York State criminal code prohibits individuals from possessing pornographic materials involving children, viewing pornographic websites could not constitute possession. The court stated that an individual may only be found guilty if there is evidence that they downloaded or printed the materials. As a result, a Marist College professor that was discovered to have over 30,000 images of child pornography on his computer and was facing jail time was cleared of 143 criminal counts.

As many lawmakers were infuriated by the decision from the appeals court, they scrambled to amend the law so that there could be no mistake about the interpretation of the statute. The amendment was presented on the senate floor in just 24 hours, and was introduced by Senator Martin Goldin (R) of Brooklyn.

“I introduced this bill because I believe that simply the fact that an individual is viewing child pornography is a crime and New York should treat it as such,” Goldin explained.

The proposed ordinance now makes it a felony for any individual to “knowingly access with intent to view any obscene performance, which includes sexual conduct by a child less than sixteen years of age.”

“This legislation sends a strong message that watching child pornography for any reason is completely unacceptable,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos stated. The law is said to cover both photos and streaming video footage.

The statute now heads to the state assembly for a vote, where it is expected to pass.

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