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Obscenity

Definition of obscene: "Any material or performance is 'obscene' if (a) the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that considered as a whole, its predominant appeal is to the prurient interest in sex, and (b) it depicts or describes in a patently offensive manner, actual or simulated: sexual intercourse, criminal sexual act, sexual bestiality, masturbation, sadism, masochism, excretion or lewd exhibition of the genitals, and (c) considered as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, political, and scientific value. Predominant appeal shall be judged with reference to ordinary adults unless it appears from the character of the material or the circumstances of its dissemination to be designed for children or other specially susceptible audience."  NY Penal Law § 235.00.

§ 235.05 Obscenity in the third degree

A person is guilty of obscenity in the third degree when, knowing its content and character, he:

  1. Promotes, or possesses with intent to promote, any obscene material; or
  2. Produces, presents or directs an obscene performance or participates in a portion thereof which is obscene or which contributes to its obscenity.  

Obscenity in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

§ 235.06 Obscenity in the second degree

A person is guilty of obscenity in the second degree when he commits the crime of obscenity in the third degree as defined in subdivisions one and two of section 235.05 of this chapter and has been previously convicted of obscenity in the third degree. Obscenity in the second degree is a class E felony.

§ 235.07 Obscenity in the first degree

A person is guilty of obscenity in the first degree when, knowing its content and character, he wholesale promotes or possesses with intent to wholesale promote, any obscene material.  
Obscenity in the first degree is a class D felony.

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