Viewing Child Pornography Is Now Legal in New York -- WHAT?!

laptop barsI'm in shock. Frozen in horror and filled with utter disbelief, sickened to the absolute core by New York State's official ruling on child porn (as of Tuesday):

"The purposeful viewing of child pornography on the internet is now legal in New York."

Feel like you got kicked in the stomach just now? Yeah, that's how I felt, too. Just to reiterate, this is an official state ruling. How did this come to pass?

Well, the ruling is the "result of an appeal filed by lawyers for Professor James D. Kent of Marist College in Poughkeepsie."

See, back in 2009, Kent was convicted of "two counts of promoting a sexual performance of a child and dozens of counts of possessing child pornography." (In case you're wondering, those "dozens" amounted to 141 total.)


He was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison.

But according to Kent's crafty lawyers, the professor had no idea there were over 100 child pornography images stored in his browser's Web cache. (Granted, he did know about the 13,000 images of 8- and 9-year-old girls wearing lingerie saved in a folder on his computer. But hey gee whiz, I don't see a connection, do you?)

And if he didn't download or save the pornographic images, he couldn't justifiably be convicted of "possessing" them, could he? Hey, you gonna send a guy to jail just for looking at kiddie porn?

Apparently not, because it's NOT A CRIME in New York State.

Kent was absolved of 2 of the 141 counts of possession, though it's not yet clear what this means for his prison sentence. What is clear? Hmm, where do I start ...

I guess it's clear that we, as parents (no matter what state we live in), need to make a huge, inconvenient fuss for lawmakers and authority figures to realize that viewing child pornography is NOT okay! For the love of Christ! How many thinking, rational human beings needed to temporarily lobotomize themselves for that ruling to happen? If it's okay to view child pornography, it must be okay to make child pornography, right? Because otherwise there wouldn't be anything to look at!

Thankfully, some non-lobotomized New York legislators have reportedly "vowed" to introduce a measure that would make viewing kiddie porn illegal. Still, the fact that it's not illegal right now is unforgivable.

Are you shocked that viewing child porn is legal in NY State?


Image via Elvert Barnes/Flickr

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