2011 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 948. Crimes against children.
948.12 Possession of child pornography.
948.12948.12 Possession of child pornography.
948.12(1m)(1m) Whoever possesses any undeveloped film, photographic negative, photograph, motion picture, videotape, or other recording of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct under all of the following circumstances may be penalized under sub. (3):
948.12(1m)(a)(a) The person knows that he or she possesses the material.
948.12(1m)(b)(b) The person knows the character and content of the sexually explicit conduct in the material.
948.12(1m)(c)(c) The person knows or reasonably should know that the child engaged in sexually explicit conduct has not attained the age of 18 years.
948.12(2m)(2m) Whoever exhibits or plays a recording of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct, if all of the following apply, may be penalized under sub. (3):
948.12(2m)(a)(a) The person knows that he or she has exhibited or played the recording.
948.12(2m)(b)(b) Before the person exhibited or played the recording, he or she knew the character and content of the sexually explicit conduct.
948.12(2m)(c)(c) Before the person exhibited or played the recording, he or she knew or reasonably should have known that the child engaged in sexually explicit conduct had not attained the age of 18 years.
948.12(3)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (b), a person who violates sub. (1m) or (2m) is guilty of a Class D felony.
948.12(3)(b)(b) A person who violates sub. (1m) or (2m) is guilty of a Class I felony if the person is under 18 years of age when the offense occurs.
948.12 - ANNOT.History: 1987 a. 332; 1995 a. 67; 2001 a. 16, 109; 2005 a. 433.
948.12 - ANNOT.A violation of this section must be based on the content of the photograph and how it was produced. Evidence of the location and manner of storing the photo are not properly considered. State v. A. H. 211 Wis. 2d 561, 566 N.W.2d 858 (Ct. App. 1997), 96-2311.
948.12 - ANNOT.For purposes of multiplicity analysis, each image possessed can be prosecuted separately. Prosecution is not based upon the medium of reproduction. Multiple punishment is appropriate for a defendant who compiled and stored multiple images over time. State v. Multaler, 2002 WI 35, 252 Wis. 2d 54, 643 N.W.2d 437, 00-1846.
948.12 - ANNOT.Criminalizing child pornography presents the risk of self-censorship of constitutionally protected material. Criminal responsibility may not be imposed without some element of scienter, the degree of knowledge that makes a person legally responsible for the consequences of his or her act or omission. In this section, "reasonably should know" is less than actual knowledge but still requires more than the standard used in civil negligence actions, which is constitutionally sufficient. State v. Schaefer, 2003 WI App 164, 266 Wis. 2d 719, 668 N.W.2d 760, 01-2691.
948.12 - ANNOT.There was sufficient evidence in the record to demonstrate that the defendant knowingly possessed the child pornography images on his computer because he repeatedly visited child pornography Web sites, clicked on thumbnail images to create larger pictures for viewing, accessed five images twice, and saved at least one image to his personal folder. State v. Lindgren, 2004 WI App 159, 275 Wis. 2d 851, 687 N.W.2d 60, 03-1868.
948.12 - ANNOT.Sub. (1m) forbids only depictions of real children engaged in sexually explicit activity. Sub. (1m) (c) specifies that to be convicted under the statute, the person possessing the pornography must know or have reason to know that the child engaged in sexually explicit conduct has not attained the age of 18 years. This element does not speak of depictions at all, but rather of a child who has not attained the age of 18 years. State v. Van Buren, 2008 WI App 26, 307 Wis. 2d 447, 746 N.W.2d 545, 06-3025.
948.12 - ANNOT.Sub. (1m) criminalizes the knowing possession of any photograph of a child engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Expert testimony or other evidence to establish the reality of apparently real photographs is not required. When there has been no evidence adduced that the photographs are anything other than what they appear to be, the photographs themselves are sufficient evidence of the reality of what they depict. State v. Van Buren, 2008 WI App 26, 307 Wis. 2d 447, 746 N.W.2d 545, 06-3025.
948.12 - ANNOT.Individuals who purposely view digital images of child pornography on the Internet, even though the images are not found in the person's computer hard drive, nonetheless knowingly possess those images in violation of sub. (1m). An individual knowingly possesses child pornography when he or she affirmatively pulls up images of child pornography on the Internet and views those images knowing that they contain child pornography. Whether the proof is hard drive evidence or something else should not matter. State v. Mercer, 2010 WI App 47, 324 Wis. 2d 506, 782 N.W.2d 125, 08-1763.
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