New York. A concrete jungle where dreams are made of/oh/up. There's nothing you can't do. Including looking at child porn online— the state has just ruled that that's legal, MSNBC reports.
Here's exactly what Judge Victoria A. Graffeo, of the New York Court of Appeals, wrote Tuesday:
"The purposeful viewing of child pornography on the internet is now legal in New York."
Here's a .pdf of the complete ruling.
Finally, someone is standing up for child porn enthusiasts.
The ruling was the result of an appeal filed by lawyers for Professor James D. Kent of Marist College in Poughkeepsie.
Kent was originally convicted of two counts of promoting a sexual performance of a child and dozens of counts of possessing child pornography (141 total). He was sentenced to one to three years in prison back in 2009.
Two of those counts have now been dismissed.
Those specific counts dealt with the over one hundred images of child pornography stored in his browser's Web cache. (Images in Web caches are saved automatically by the computer — not necessarily downloaded by the user.)
Kent's lawyers argued that, as Kent was not even aware his browser had such a cache, he could not be charged with knowingly "possessing" whatever mysterious images it contained. (Kent himself stated that someone else at the college must have placed the images on his computer.)
The court agreed, ruling that the mere presence of the images in the cache was not definitive proof of Kent's possession. It did not prove that Kent himself had printed, saved or downloaded those pictures.
Those actions, which demonstrate what Judge Carmen Ciparick called "dominion and control over the images," remain very much illegal.
Ditto: creating, possessing, distributing, promoting, or facilitating child pornography.
While the professor was absolved of two of the many counts leveled against him, the remaining 139 were upheld thanks to other evidence.
What types of other evidence?
Well, one folder saved on Kent's computer contained approximately 13,000 images of what the prosecution estimated to be 8 or 9-year-old girls clad in lingerie and bathing suits.
Those images in his browser, though…those were like "Whaaaat, how did those get there?"
New York legislators have already vowed to introduce a measure to make viewing child pornography illegal, as you might have expected it already was.