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Pols agree to plug porn loophole

By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

In a bipartisan move, New York's "three men in a room" have agreed to support legislation that they said would effectively prohibit Internet access of child pornography.

Two of the bill's co-sponsors are from Brooklyn — Marty Golden, Bay Ridge's Republican state senator, and Joseph Lentol, North Brooklyn's assemblyman.

‪The legislation approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver would amend the state's penal law to prohibit people from knowingly accessing, with the intent of viewing, child pornography on the Internet.

Under current state law, an individual who views child pornography on a website that causes the images to become automatically embedded in a computer does not "possess" child pornography. This legislation closes that loophole, the elected officials said.

As a result of this new legislation, child pornography can never be legally possessed in New York State, Golden said.

"We must, under any circumstance, put the safety and protection of our children first by banning any and all forms of child pornography," Cuomo said. "This legislation closes a loophole that has allowed predators to go unprosecuted and unpunished. That will no longer be an option. Together with my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly, we are taking every precaution to ensure that our children are protected and that justice is served.”

“Viewing child pornography is a despicable act,” Skelos said. “This legislation will help protect children by imposing tough new penalties on people who view or possess child pornography. I applaud Sen. Golden for his leadership on this issue, which is at the top of the Senate’s criminal justice agenda, and I thank Governor Cuomo for working with us to achieve a bipartisan agreement.”

Silver, leader of the Democrat-dominated Assembly, said he is pleased with the legislation.

"This new law makes clear that there is no acceptable reason for anyone to view or possess child pornography,” he said. “The safety of children is paramount and we will do everything in our power to rid us of the scourge of child pornography.”

"We have effectively changed the law,” Golden said. “New York will now conform with federal regulations and rightly classify viewing child pornography as a crime.”

“When it comes to protecting children, we can’t allow loopholes in the law. Viewing or possessing child pornography is a crime and this legislation makes sure the tools needed to prosecute it are available,” Lentol said.

In 1996, New York State enacted a law prohibiting the possession of child pornography. But in a case decided on May 8, the New York Court of Appeals held that existing law did not prohibit “accessing and viewing” child pornography on the Internet.

The court specifically invited the state to amend the Penal Law to criminalize accessing child pornography with the intent to view it on the Internet.

July 10, 2012 - 9:58am


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