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  • Acts
  • 1997
  • Chapter 181 AN ACT PUNISHING THE CRIME OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.

Whereas , The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to punish forthwith the possession of child pornography, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. The general court hereby finds: (1) that the sexual exploitation of children constitutes a wrongful invasion of a child's right to privacy and results in social, developmental and emotional injury to such child and that to protect children from sexual exploitation it is necessary to prohibit the production of material which involves or is derived from such exploitation and to exclude all such material from the channels of trade and commerce; (2) that the mere possession or control of any sexually exploitative material results in continuing victimization of children as such material is a permanent record of an act or acts of sexual abuse or exploitation of a child and that each time such material is viewed the child is harmed; (3) that such material is used to break the will and resistance of other children so as to encourage them to participate in similar acts; (4) that laws banning the production and distribution of such material are insufficient to halt this abuse and exploitation; (5) that to stop the sexual abuse and exploitation of children, it is necessary to ban the possession of any sexually exploitative materials; and (6) that the commonwealth has a compelling interest in outlawing the possession of any materials which sexually exploit children in order to protect the privacy, health and emotional welfare of children and society as a whole.

SECTION 2. Chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 29B the following section:-

Section 29C. Whoever knowingly purchases or possesses a negative, slide, book, magazine, film, videotape, photograph or other similar visual reproduction, or depiction by computer, of any child whom the person knows or reasonably should know to be under the age of 18 years of age and such child is:

(i) actually or by simulation engaged in any act of sexual intercourse with any person or animal;

(ii) actually or by simulation engaged in any act of sexual contact involving the sex organs of the child and the mouth, anus or sex organs of the child and the sex organs of another person or animal;

(iii) actually or by simulation engaged in any act of masturbation;

(iv) actually or by simulation portrayed as being the object of, or otherwise engaged in, any act of lewd fondling, touching, or caressing involving another person or animal;

(v) actually or by simulation engaged in any act of excretion or urination within a sexual context;

(vi) actually or by simulation portrayed or depicted as bound, fettered, or subject to sadistic, masochistic, or sadomasochistic abuse in any sexual context; or

(vii) depicted or portrayed in any pose, posture or setting involving a lewd exhibition of the unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks or, if such person is female, a fully or partially developed breast of the child; with knowledge of the nature or content thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment for the first offense, not less than five years in a state prison or by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment for the second offense, not less than 10 years in a state prison or by a fine of not less than $10,000 nor more than $30,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment for the third and subsequent offenses.

A prosecution commenced under this section shall not be continued without a finding nor placed on file.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to a law enforcement officer, licensed physician, licensed psychologist, attorney or officer of the court who is in possession of such materials in the lawful performance of his official duty. Nor shall the provisions of this section apply to an employee of a bona fide enterprise, the purpose of which enterprise is to filter or otherwise restrict access to such materials, who possesses examples of computer depictions of such material for the purposes of furthering the legitimate goals of such enterprise.

Approved November 26, 1997.