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  • NJ S3219
  • Establishes additional penalties related to child pornography and expands crime to include portrayal of child in sexual manner; establishes crime of leader of child pornography network.
Introduced
(5/18/2017)
In Committee
(6/19/2017)
Crossed Over
(6/22/2017)
Passed
(6/22/2017)
Signed
(7/21/2017)
Dead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill establishes additional penalties for child pornography crimes. Specifically, the bill expands the definition of child pornography to include the portrayal of a child in a sexual manner; establishes the crime of "leader of child pornography network"; and enhances penalties and revises the sentencing provisions for these crimes. The provisions of the bill address changes in the child pornography industry which are not adequately addressed by current law. The bill criminalizes the possession and distribution of "child erotica," which refers to images that depict nearly naked, suggestively-posed, and inappropriately sexualized children. New Jersey's child pornography statute currently does not criminalize "child erotica." The bill amends the definition of child pornography, or an "item depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child," to include an item which portrays a child in a sexually suggestive manner. The bill defines the term "portray a child in a sexually suggestive manner" to mean: (1) to depict a child's less than completely and opaquely covered intimate parts, as defined in N.J.S.2C:14-1, or any form of contact with the intimate parts in a manner that, by means of the posing, composition, format, or animated sensual details, emits sensuality with sufficient impact to concentrate prurient interest on the child; or (2) to otherwise depict a child for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any person who may view the depiction where the depiction does not have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. Under the bill, a person is guilty of the crime of "leader of a child pornography network" if the person knowingly conspires with others to establish or maintain a child pornography distribution network through which files containing child pornography are made available to an organized group. Leader of a child pornography network is a crime of the first degree if the offense involves 100,000 or more child pornography items; a crime of the second degree if the offense involves at least 1,000 but less than 100,000 items; and a crime of the third degree if the offense involves less than 1,000 items. A crime of the first degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of 10 to 20 years, a fine of up to $200,000, or both; a crime of the second degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of five to 10 years, a fine of up to $150,000, or both; a crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both; and a crime of the fourth degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. Under current law, possession of child pornography is increased from a crime of the fourth degree to a crime of the third degree and carries a presumption of imprisonment if a person possesses 100 or more items of child pornography. Due to rapid advancements in technology, enormous numbers of digital files are able to be downloaded at very high speeds and hard drive memory storage has been greatly expanded. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of individuals or "super-possessors" who possess thousands to hundreds of thousands of items of child pornography. These advances also have facilitated exponential growth in both the quantity and frequency of distribution of child pornography. According to the sponsor, current law does not provide adequate penalties for child pornography super-possessors, who may currently face the same penalties as a defendant possessing 100 items of child pornography. In addition, it does not differentiate between a single still image of child pornography and an extended video sequence, which could consist of thousands of digital images. This bill creates enhanced penalties for super-possessors by making possession of 100,000 or more items of child pornography a crime of the first degree; possession of less than 100,000 items but greater than 1,000 items a crime of the second degree; and possession of 1,000 items a crime of the third degree. The bill also promotes more equitable sentencing for video images by providing that each video or video segment of child pornography is the equivalent of 10 separate items. Under current law, a person convicted of distribution of child pornography is guilty of a crime of the second degree with a mandatory minimum sentence of one-third to one-half the sentence imposed or five years, whichever is greater. A distributor who is caught transmitting 25 child pornography files currently faces the same penalties as a distributor caught sending 10,000 files. The bill revises the penalties for distribution of child pornography to provide that a person who distributes 1,000 or more items of child pornography is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Distribution of less than 1,000 would remain a crime of the second degree. An offender will be referred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC) for sex offender treatment if the court finds that the offender's conduct is characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior and the offender is amenable and willing to participate in sex offender treatment. A psychological examination is ordered for offenders convicted of a number of sex offenses which include the distribution of child pornography, but not possession of child pornography. Currently, a prosecutor may make a motion requesting that the court impose a special sentence of parole supervision for life on a person who possesses any amount of child pornography. Judges are currently required to order a psychological examination of certain sex offenders to determine if referral to the ADTC is appropriate. The provisions of the bill provide that if a person is convicted of possessing 1,000 or more items of child pornography: the court is required to consider imposing a sentence of parole supervision for life; the person is subject to evaluation for ADTC commitment; and the person is required to register as a sex offender and be subject to the community notification and Internet publication requirements under Megan's Law. Finally, the bill clarifies that for all child pornography manufacturing and distribution offenses, including the crime of leader of a child pornography network established under the bill, a fine is to be imposed and deposited into the Computer Crime Prevention Fund.
2nd Reading in the Senate, Bills and Joint Resolutions Signed by the Governor, Budget and Appropriations, Law and Public Safety, Passed both Houses
Approved P.L.2017, c.141.  (on 7/21/2017)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
7/21/2017 A Approved P.L.2017, c.141.
6/22/2017 A Passed Assembly (Passed Both Houses) (73-0-0)
6/22/2017 A Substituted for A4859 (1R)
6/22/2017 A Received in the Assembly without Reference, 2nd Reading
6/22/2017 S Passed by the Senate (38-0)
6/19/2017 S Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading
6/19/2017 Senate Budget and Appropriations Hearing (19:00 6/19/2017 S-3331 (Cruz-Perez) (pending intro and referral) - Authorizes St)
6/15/2017 S Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
6/15/2017 S Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading
6/15/2017 Senate Law and Public Safety Hearing (19:00 6/15/2017 *Revised- 6/12/17-S-1022 has been removed, S-1021 has been added)
5/18/2017 S Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Law and Public Safety Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 6/22/2017 Senate Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 38 0 2
Detail 6/22/2017 Assembly Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 73 0 7
Detail 6/22/2017 Assembly Floor: Substitute For A4859 Aca (Voice Vote) 0 0 0
Detail 6/19/2017 Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee: Reported Favorably 13 0 0
Detail 6/15/2017 Senate Law and Public Safety Committee: Reported with Amendments 5 0 0