Unlawful distribution of material harmful to minors through the Internet — La. R.S. 14:91.14
This criminal offense was created by Louisiana lawmakers during the 2015 legislative session. This statute went into effect on
August 1, 2015. It is important to note that this offense applies to individuals or organizations doing business over the internet.
Any person or entity in Louisiana that publishes material harmful to minors on the Internet shall, prior to permitting access to the material, require any person attempting to access the material to electronically acknowledge and attest that the person seeking to access the material is eighteen years of age or older.
The failure to comply with the provisions herein shall constitute the unlawful distribution of material harmful to minors through the Internet.
If a person or entity in Louisiana publishes material harmful to minors on the Internet and complies with the provisions, the person or entity shall not be held liable under the provisions of this Section if the person seeking to access the material is under the age of eighteen and falsely acknowledges and attests that he is eighteen years of age or older.
** No Internet service provider, interactive computer service provider as defined by 47 U.S.C. 230(f), or radio or television broadcast licensee of the Federal Communications Commission shall be deemed to be a publisher or distributor of material harmful to minors that is provided by another person.
** This Section shall not apply to any bona fide news or public interest broadcast, website, video, report, or event and shall not be construed to affect the rights of any news-gathering organization.
“Descriptions or depictions of illicit sex or sexual immorality” includes the depiction, display, description, exhibition, or representation of any of the following:
- Ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual, simulated, or animated, whether between human beings, animals, or an animal and a human being.
- Masturbation, excretory functions, or exhibition, actual, simulated, or animated, of the genitals, pubic hair, anus, vulva, or female breast nipples.
- Sadomasochistic abuse, meaning actual, simulated, or animated, flagellation or torture by or upon a person who is nude or clad in undergarments or in a costume which reveals the pubic hair, anus, vulva, genitals, or female breast nipples, or the condition of being fettered, bound, or otherwise physically restrained, on the part of one so clothed.
- Actual, simulated, or animated, touching, caressing, or fondling of, or other similar physical contact with, a pubic area, anus, female breast nipple, covered or exposed, whether alone or between human, animals, or a human and an animal, of the same or opposite sex, in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification.
- Actual, simulated, or animated, stimulation of the human genital organs by any device whether or not the device is designed, manufactured, and marketed for that purpose.
“Material harmful to minors” is defined as any digital image, photograph, or video which exploits, is devoted to or principally consists of, descriptions or depictions of illicit sex or sexual immorality for commercial gain, and when the trier of fact determines that each of the following applies:
- The material incites or appeals to or is designed to incite or appeal to the prurient, shameful, or morbid interest of minors.
- The material is offensive to the average adult applying contemporary community standards with respect to what is suitable for minors.
- The material taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.
Penalty / Sentencing
Whoever violates this law shall be fined up to ten thousand dollars($10,000).
If you or your company have been accused of distributing harmful material to people under 18 on the internet, contact a New Orleans internet crimes attorney today. Our law firm is ready to fight for you.