Senator Martin Golden Sponsors A Bill To Make Watching Child Pornography A Felony

Source: Sheepshead Bites c/o Senator Golden's office

Senator Martin Golden has sponsored a bill to close a loophole that came up after an appeals court ruled that viewing child pornography does not constitute possession of child pornography and thus, viewing it is not a felony.

Golden’s push for stricter legislation came on the heels of case of James Kent, 65, who was found to have hundreds of pornographic images on his computer in 2007. The court ruled that cached computer files do not constitute intent to “procure” or “possess” porn and  that just watching child porn under current state law “is not enough to constitute their procurement or possession.”

Instead, the court said that saving, printing or downloading is the action needed to prove an “exercised dominion and control over the images…on…screen.”

Golden wants to amend state law to say that possessing child pornography with intent to view should be a felony.

“Child pornography is highly offensive in its very nature,” said Golden to the New York Daily News. “It should not matter if you view it, read it, or download it. Simply the fact that you are viewing it is a crime and New York should treat it as such.”

The bill is being sponsored in the Assembly by Joseph Lentol.

Lentol expects the measure to be approved.