Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that strengthens laws against viewing and downloading child pornography from the internet.
The bill has been on the table for some time and has been supported by Senator Martin Golden. Lawmakers discovered that a loophole existed in New York’s legislation for prosecuting those charged with viewing child pornography.
The issue came up when lawmakers realized that one who views child pornography on a website where the images appear is not committing a felony unless he or she downloads the photos. Further, the initial law stated that if the images somehow became automatically embedded, this was not considered possession of the pornography either.
The new law amends the old law and prohibits individuals from knowingly accessing a website with the intent of viewing child pornography on the internet. Accessing a website and intending to view child pornography will now be a class E felony.
“With the strengthening of these laws, we eliminate any loophole to better protect our children from predators,” said Governor Cuomo to the Post Star News. “This new law stops criminals who have been able to escape prosecution and punishment for too long. I applaud Majority Leader Skelos, Speaker Silver and the bill sponsors for their leadership and dedication to keeping our kids safe. By working together, we are ensuring that all New Yorkers, especially children, are kept safe and that justice is rightfully served.”
As a result of the new law, possessing child pornography will never be considered legal in New York State.