The New York Penal Code makes it a crime to display sexually explicit material in a store window, showcase, rack, wall, door, or in any other manner that is visible to the public. The New York Penal Code defines sexually explicit material as being depictions that feature the human body, or parts of the human body, that are designed to predominantly appeal to a prurient interest in sex.
Elements of Public Display of Offensive Sexual Material
The elements of public display of offensive sexual material include the placement of sexually explicit material in view of the public. The location in which the sexually explicit item is placed has to be open to the general public.
Example of Public Display of Offensive Sexual Material
Sam’s is a corner market that sells adult magazines. In order to promote the adult magazines, the owner of Sam’s placed poster on a wall that depicted a couple in the act of sexual intercourse. The purpose of the poster was to advertise the adult magazines the market sold.
Because of the placement of the poster in a public setting, a charge of public display of offensive sexual material could be placed against the store owner and any person who may have placed the explicit poster on the wall in the first instance.
Another example involves a person who places a sexually explicit poster on an exterior window of his or her apartment. Because the exposure is outward to the general public, the renter of the apartment, the person who placed the poster in the window, might face a charge of public display of offensive sexual material.
Sentence for Public Display of Offensive Sexual Material
The offense of public display of offensive sexual material is a class A misdemeanor. A person convicted of this crime can face a jail sentence of up to one year. In the alternative, a person convicted of public display of offensive sexual material can be sentenced to probation for three years. A judge can also impose a fine upon a conviction for public display of offensive sexual material.
Defenses to Public Display of Offensive Sexual Material
A New York criminal defense lawyer can provide legal representation to a person charged with public display of offensive sexual material. A defense that could be mounted by an NYC criminal lawyer is that the space in which the allegedly offensive material was displayed or posted is not a public area. For example, if an adult’s only story displays sexually explicit material, a defense could be made to a charge of public display of offensive sexual material because the space is not open to the general public.
Another potential defense would be that the material in question does not qualify as being sexual in nature. This is an objective finding, but it is a potential defense that an attorney may elect to pursue on behalf of a client charged with public display of offensive sexual material. There are some court cases that provide guidance in this regard.
A person facing public display of offensive sexual material charges retains legal counsel by firth scheduling an initial consultation. At an initial consultation, an attorney provides an overview and evaluation of a case. This includes possible defenses to a charge of public display of offensive sexual material.
A prospective clients also has the opportunity to ask questions about his or her case and prosecution for public display of offensive sexual material. As a general rule, a criminal defense attorney in New York does not charge a fee for an initial consultation in a public display of offensive sexual material case.
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