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  • NJ A1529
  • Revises child pornography law.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill revises the State's laws governing child pornography. The bill modifies subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4, concerning "real" child pornography to include: (1) upgrading to a first degree crime for all persons, not just parents and guardians, causing or permitting a child to engage in or simulation of a prohibited sexual act knowing that the act would be photographed or reproduced; (2) explicitly stating that an intent to distribute, advertise, offer or agree to offer is not an element of creating or reproducing child pornography and clarifying that the elements of this offense include producing, creating, copying or duplicating images of child pornography, or posting those images on the Internet; (3) clarifying that possessing child pornography for the purpose of distributing it is a second degree crime and streamlining the definition of "distribute"; (4) upgrading possession of child pornography to a crime of the third degree; and (5) establishing a rebuttable presumption that a person appearing to be a child in a photo, video, or computer file, is in fact an actual child; (6) requiring defendants who intend to defend a charge of child pornography by claiming that it was created without using an actual child, or the face or any of the intimate parts of an actual child, or depicts the image of a person who is not a child, to notify the prosecutor of that claim in accordance with the Rules of Court; and (7) allowing the admissibility of hearsay evidence to be used to establish the existence, identity and age of an actual child depicted in child pornography. The bill also adds a new subsection c. to N.J.S.2C:24-4 to establish the crime of "virtual" child pornography, the provisions of which parallel the provisions of subsection b. concerning "real" child pornography. This new subsection: (1) makes it a crime of the second degree to use any device, including a computer, to produce, create, or reproduce an image which appears to depict a child in a obscene prohibited sexual act or in a simulation of such an act; (2) makes it a crime of the second degree to knowingly distribute obscene virtual child pornography; (3) makes it a crime of the third degree to knowingly possess obscene virtual child pornography; (4) defines an "obscene" depiction to be one in which: a sexual act is patently offensive; lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value when taken as a whole; and is part of a work which, taken as a whole in light of contemporary community standards, appeals to the prurient interest; and (5) specifies that when virtual child pornography is obscene, the defendant is strictly liable; Other provisions of the bill: require defendants to be reviewed for referral to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center if convicted of certain real and virtual child pornography crimes; prohibit expungement of criminal records; provide for notification to the prosecuting agency and victim when a defendant is placed in a community release program or released from incarceration; and require certain repeat offender's presentence and parole eligibility report to include a complete psychological evaluation for repeat offenders. The bill also eliminates the presumption of nonincarceration, normally applicable to third degree crimes, for the crime of possessing real or virtual child pornography. The bill includes a fixed mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for certain recidivists who violate N.J.S.2C:24-4. Defendants convicted of engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of a child in violation of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:24‑4 or of child pornography crimes under subsection b. or c. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 must be sentenced to prison and serve one‑third to one-half of their sentences before being eligible for parole if they have previously been convicted of other sex crimes including luring or enticing a child, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, or child endangerment. The bill also makes a prior conviction under N.J.S.2C:24-4 the basis for a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:14-6, and provides that the minimum term must be imposed regardless of whether the defendant is sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment. Finally, the bill amends various other statutes to ensure that virtual child pornographers are subject to the same penalties as real child pornographers. Thus, wherever a statute specifically refers to a provision of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4, this bill adds subsection c. to the statute.
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified