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N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4: Endangering welfare of children

2C:24-4. Endangering welfare of children

 

a. Any person having a legal duty for the care of a child or who has assumed responsibility for the care of a child who engages in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child, or who causes the child harm that would make the child an abused or neglected child as defined in R.S.9:6-1, R.S.9:6-3 and section 1 of P.L.1974, c. 119 (C.9:6-8.21) is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Any other person who engages in conduct or who causes harm as described in this subsection to a child under the age of 18 is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

b. (1) As used in this subsection:

“Child” means any person under 18 years of age.

“Internet” means the international computer network of both federal and non-federal interoperable packet switched data networks.

“Prohibited sexual act” means

(a) Sexual intercourse; or

(b) Anal intercourse; or

(c) Masturbation; or

(d) Bestiality; or

(e) Sadism; or

(f) Masochism; or

(g) Fellatio; or

(h) Cunnilingus; or

(i) Nudity, if depicted for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any person who may view such depiction; or

(j) Any act of sexual penetration or sexual contact as defined in N.J.S.2C:14-1.

“Reproduction” means, but is not limited to, computer generated images.

(2) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2001, c. 291).

(3) A person commits a crime of the second degree if he causes or permits a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act if the person knows, has reason to know or intends that the prohibited act may be photographed, filmed, reproduced, or reconstructed in any manner, including on the Internet, or may be part of an exhibition or performance. If the person is a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of the child, the person shall be guilty of a crime of the first degree.

(4) Any person who photographs or films a child in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act or who uses any device, including a computer, to reproduce or reconstruct the image of a child in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

(5)(a) Any person who knowingly receives for the purpose of selling or who knowingly sells, procures, manufactures, gives, provides, lends, trades, mails, delivers, transfers, publishes, distributes, circulates, disseminates, presents, exhibits, advertises, offers or agrees to offer, through any means, including the Internet, any photograph, film, videotape, computer program or file, video game or any other reproduction or reconstruction which depicts a child engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act, is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

(b) Any person who knowingly possesses or knowingly views any photograph, film, videotape, computer program or file, video game or any other reproduction or reconstruction which depicts a child engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act, including on the Internet, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

(6) For purposes of this subsection, a person who is depicted as or presents the appearance of being under the age of 18 in any photograph, film, videotape, computer program or file, video game or any other reproduction or reconstruction shall be rebuttably presumed to be under the age of 18. If the child who is depicted as engaging in, or who is caused to engage in, a prohibited sexual act or simulation of a prohibited sexual act is under the age of 18, the actor shall be strictly liable and it shall not be a defense that the actor did not know that the child was under the age of 18, nor shall it be a defense that the actor believed that the child was 18 years of age or older, even if such a mistaken belief was reasonable.

 


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