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2020 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 17 - Offenses Against Public Health, Safety and Welfare
Part 9 - Obscenity
§ 39-17-902. Producing, Importing, Preparing, Distributing, Processing or Appearing in Obscene Material or Exhibition — Distribution to or Employment of Minors
Universal Citation: TN Code § 39-17-902 (2020)
- It is unlawful to knowingly produce, send or cause to be sent, or bring or cause to be brought, into this state for sale, distribution, exhibition or display, or in this state to prepare for distribution, publish, print, exhibit, distribute, or offer to distribute, or to possess with intent to distribute or to exhibit or offer to distribute any obscene matter, or to do any of the aforementioned with any matter found legally obscene that violates the requirements of 18 U.S.C. § 2257. It is unlawful to direct, present or produce any obscene theatrical production, peep show or live performance, and every person who participates in that part of the production which renders the production or performance obscene is guilty of the offense.
- It is unlawful for any person to hire, employ or use a minor to do or assist in doing any of the acts described in subsection (a) with knowledge that the person is a minor under eighteen (18) years of age, or while in possession of the facts that the person should reasonably know that the person is a minor under eighteen (18) years of age. However, this section shall not apply to those acts that are prohibited by §§ 39-17-1003 — 39-17-1005.
- A violation of subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor, and, in addition, any corporation or business entity that violates this section shall be fined an amount not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) nor more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
- A second or subsequent violation of subsection (a) is a Class E felony; provided, that the second or subsequent violation occurs after a conviction has been obtained for the previous violation; provided further, that the range of fines authorized for a first violation by a corporation or business entity shall also be applicable for second or subsequent violations by the corporation or entity.
- A violation of subsection (b) is a Class E felony, and, in addition, a violator shall be fined an amount not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) nor more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
- It is an exception to this section that the obscene material is possessed by a person having scientific, educational, governmental or other similar justification.
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