2016 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
Title 18 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES
Chapter 63 - Minors
Section 6312 - Sexual abuse of children
(a) Definition.--(Deleted by amendment).
(b) Photographing, videotaping, depicting on computer or filming sexual acts.--
(1) Any person who causes or knowingly permits a child under the age of 18 years to engage in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act commits an offense if such person knows, has reason to know or intends that such act may be photographed, videotaped, depicted on computer or filmed.
(2) Any person who knowingly photographs, videotapes, depicts on computer or films a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act commits an offense.
(c) Dissemination of photographs, videotapes, computer depictions and films.--Any person who knowingly sells, distributes, delivers, disseminates, transfers, displays or exhibits to others, or who possesses for the purpose of sale, distribution, delivery, dissemination, transfer, display or exhibition to others, any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material depicting a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act commits an offense.
(d) Child pornography.--Any person who intentionally views or knowingly possesses or controls any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material depicting a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act commits an offense.
(d.1) Grading.--The offenses shall be graded as follows:
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), an offense under subsection (b) is a felony of the second degree.
(2) (i) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a first offense under subsection (c) or (d) is a felony of the third degree.
(ii) A second or subsequent offense under subsection (c) or (d) is a felony of the second degree.
(3) When a person commits an offense graded under paragraph (1) or (2)(i) and indecent contact with the child as defined in section 3101 (relating to definitions) is depicted, the grading of the offense shall be one grade higher than the grade specified in paragraph (1) or (2)(i).
(e) Evidence of age.--In the event a person involved in a prohibited sexual act is alleged to be a child under the age of 18 years, competent expert testimony shall be sufficient to establish the age of said person.
(e.1) Mistake as to age.--Under subsection (b) only, it is no defense that the defendant did not know the age of the child. Neither a misrepresentation of age by the child nor a bona fide belief that the person is over the specified age shall be a defense.
(f) Exceptions.--This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Any material that is viewed, possessed, controlled, brought or caused to be brought into this Commonwealth, or presented, for a bona fide educational, scientific, governmental or judicial purpose.
(2) Conduct prohibited under section 6321 (relating to transmission of sexually explicit images by minor), unless the conduct is specifically excluded by section 6321(d).
(3) An individual under 18 years of age who knowingly views, photographs, videotapes, depicts on a computer or films or possesses or intentionally views a visual depiction as defined in section 6321 of himself alone in a state of nudity as defined in section 6321.
(f.1) Criminal action.--
(1) A district attorney shall have the authority to investigate and to institute criminal proceedings for any violation of this section.
(2) In addition to the authority conferred upon the Attorney General by the act of October 15, 1980 (P.L.950, No.164), known as the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, the Attorney General shall have the authority to investigate and to institute criminal proceedings for any violation of this section or any series of violations of this section involving more than one county of this Commonwealth or involving any county of this Commonwealth and another state. No person charged with a violation of this section by the Attorney General shall have standing to challenge the authority of the Attorney General to investigate or prosecute the case, and, if any such challenge is made, the challenge shall be dismissed and no relief shall be available in the courts of this Commonwealth to the person making the challenge.
(g) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
"Intentionally views." The deliberate, purposeful, voluntary viewing of material depicting a child under 18 years of age engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act. The term shall not include the accidental or inadvertent viewing of such material.
"Prohibited sexual act." Sexual intercourse as defined in section 3101 (relating to definitions), masturbation, sadism, masochism, bestiality, fellatio, cunnilingus, lewd exhibition of the genitals or nudity if such nudity is depicted for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any person who might view such depiction.
(Oct. 26, 1977, P.L.212, No.62, eff. 60 days; Dec. 19, 1988, P.L.1275, No.158, eff. 60 days; Mar. 31, 1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.985, No.10, eff. 60 days; Nov. 20, 2002, P.L.1104, No.134, eff. 60 days; July 14, 2009, P.L.63, No.15, eff. 60 days; Oct. 7, 2010, P.L.482, No.69, eff. 60 days; Oct. 25, 2012, P.L.1623, No.198, eff. 60 days; Dec. 18, 2013, P.L.1163, No.105, eff. Jan. 1, 2014)
2013 Amendment. Act 105 amended subsecs. (b), (c) and (d) and added subsec. (d.1).
2012 Amendment. Act 198 amended subsec. (f).
2010 Amendment. Act 69 added subsec. (f.1).
2009 Amendment. Act 15 amended subsecs. (d) hdg. and (1) and (f), added subsec. (g) and deleted subsec. (a).
Cross References. Section 6312 is referred to in sections 3051, 3131, 5743.1, 6318, 6321, 7621, 7626, 7627 of this title; section 3304 of Title 5 (Athletics and Sports); section 2106 of Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries); sections 5329, 6303, 6344, 6702 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); sections 5552, 62A03, 6302, 9718.1, 9720.5, 9799.14 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure); section 2303 of Title 44 (Law and Justice).
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