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General Laws

Section 31. As used in sections twenty-eight, twenty-eight C, twenty-eight D, twenty-eight E, twenty-nine, twenty-nine A, twenty-nine B, thirty and thirty D, the following words shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the following meanings:—

“Disseminate”, to import, publish, produce, print, manufacture, distribute, sell, lease, exhibit or display.

“Harmful to minors”, matter is harmful to minors if it is obscene or, if taken as a whole, it (1) describes or represents nudity, sexual conduct or sexual excitement, so as to appeal predominantly to the prurient interest of minors; (2) is patently contrary to prevailing standards of adults in the county where the offense was committed as to suitable material for such minors; and (3) lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors.

“Knowing”, a general awareness of the character of the matter.

“Lascivious intent”, a state of mind in which the sexual gratification or arousal of any person is an objective. For the purposes of prosecution under this chapter, proof of lascivious intent may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

(1) whether the circumstances include sexual behavior, sexual relations, infamous conduct of a lustful or obscene nature, deviation from accepted customs and manners, or sexually oriented displays;

(2) whether the focal point of a visual depiction is the child’s genitalia, pubic area, or breast area of a female child;

(3) whether the setting or pose of a visual depiction is generally associated with sexual activity;

(4) whether the child is depicted in an unnatural pose or inappropriate attire, considering the child’s age;

(5) whether the depiction denotes sexual suggestiveness or a willingness to engage in sexual activity;

(6) whether the depiction is of a child engaging in or being engaged in sexual conduct, including, but not limited to, sexual intercourse, unnatural sexual intercourse, bestiality, masturbation, sado-masochistic behavior, or lewd exhibition of the genitals.

“Minor”, a person under eighteen years of age.

“Nudity”, uncovered or less than opaquely covered human genitals, pubic areas, the human female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola, or the covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state. For purposes of this definition, a female breast is considered uncovered if the nipple or areola only are covered.

“Matter”, any handwritten or printed material, visual representation, live performance or sound recording including, but not limited to, books, magazines, motion picture films, pamphlets, phonographic records, pictures, photographs, figures, statues, plays, dances, or any electronic communication including, but not limited to, electronic mail, instant messages, text messages, and any other communication created by means of use of the Internet or wireless network, whether by computer, telephone, or any other device or by any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo-optical system.

“Performance”, any play, dance, exhibit, or such similar activity performed before one or more persons.

“Obscene”, matter is obscene if taken as a whole it

(1) appeals to the prurient interest of the average person applying the contemporary standards of the county where the offense was committed;

(2) depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way; and

(3) lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

“Sexual conduct”, human masturbation, sexual intercourse, actual or simulated, normal or perverted, any lewd exhibitions of the genitals, flagellation or torture in the context of a sexual relationship, any lewd touching of the genitals, pubic areas, or buttocks of the human male or female, or the breasts of the female, whether alone or between members of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals, and any depiction or representation of excretory functions in the context of a sexual relationship. Sexual intercourse is simulated when it depicts explicit sexual intercourse which gives the appearance of the consummation of sexual intercourse, normal or perverted.

“Sexual excitement”, the condition of human male or female genitals or the breasts of the female while in a state of sexual stimulation or the sensual experiences of humans engaging in or witnessing sexual conduct or nudity.

“Visual material”, any motion picture film, picture, photograph, videotape, book, magazine, pamphlet that contains pictures, photographs or similar visual representations or reproductions, or depiction by computer, telephone or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission. Undeveloped photographs, pictures, motion picture films, videotapes and similar visual representations or reproductions may be visual materials notwithstanding that processing, development or similar acts may be required to make the contents thereof apparent.

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