N.Y. Penal Law Section 235.20
Disseminating indecent material to minors

  • definitions of terms

The following definitions are applicable to sections 235.21, 235.22, 235.23 and 235.24 of this article:


“Minor” means any person less than seventeen years old.


“Nudity” means the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a full opaque covering, or the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple, or the depiction of covered male genitals in a discernably turgid state.


“Sexual conduct” means acts of masturbation, homosexuality, sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks or, if such person be a female, breast.


“Sexual excitement” means the condition of human male or female genitals when in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal.


“Sado-masochistic abuse” means flagellation or torture by or upon a person clad in undergarments, a mask or bizarre costume, or the condition of being fettered, bound or otherwise physically restrained on the part of one so clothed.


“Harmful to minors” means that quality of any description or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sado-masochistic abuse, when it:


Considered as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest in sex of minors; and


Is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors; and


Considered as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political and scientific value for minors.


The term “access software” means software (including client or server software) or enabling tools that do not create or provide the content of the communication but that allow a user to do any one or more of the following:


filter, screen, allow or disallow content;


pick, choose, analyze or digest content; or


transmit, receive, display, forward, cache, search, subset, organize, reorganize or translate content.

Source: Section 235.20 — Disseminating indecent material to minors; definitions of terms, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/PEN/235.­20 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Jun. 15, 2024).

Jun. 15, 2024

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 235.20’s source at nysenate​.gov

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