May 30, 2012

Backlash grows at N.Y. ruling on viewing of child porn

The Washington Times
May 13, 2012

In the wake of a New York court ruling that says it’s not illegal to “merely” view online child pornography, child advocates are urging Internet-savvy federal prosecutors to take over these kinds of cases as two state lawmakers rush to fix the law.

It is “a singular outrage that the highest court in New York has decriminalized the act of viewing child pornography by computer,” Patrick Trueman, president and chief executive of Morality in Media, said after the May 8 ruling by the New York Court of Appeals.

The high court unanimously agreed to reverse two of the dozens of child-pornography counts against a former college professor, saying there was no evidence the professor did more than look at some images on his computer.

The ruling resulted in a spate of head-spinning headlines like Gawker.com’s “Viewing Child Porn Online Officially A-OK in New York State” and “Looking at Child Porn Is Totally Legal in New York State” by the Atlantic Wire.

Mr. Trueman, a former federal prosecutor, said that until the law is fixed, all child-pornography cases in New York “that cannot now be prosecuted in New York state courts as a result of the court’s decision” should be handled in federal court by U.S. attorneys and prosecutors with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

“This will mean that there will be a lot more child porn cases in the federal system, but it is a much better situation than letting these child pornographers go,” Mr. Trueman said.

Read full article here.

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