A New Jersey Assembly Bill recently introduced an amendment to add "possession" of child pornography to the ever-growing list of offenses in which a conviction requires registration as a sex offender under New Jersey's Megan's Law.
New Jersey Megan's Law and Child Pornography
Megan's Law in New Jersey requires individuals convicted of certain sex-related offenses to register with the state as sex offenders. Those required to register must keep law enforcement officials informed of various aspects of their life, including their address and where they work - some convictions also require parole supervision for life.
Registration is required for those convicted of sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault, but also is required for convictions under various New Jersey laws regarding child pornography. For example, registration is currently required under New Jersey's Megan's Law when someone is convicted of:
- Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual contact with the child that would "impair or debauch the morals of the child;"
- Having a child engage in a sexual act when the person knows the act may be filmed, photographed or reproduced in any manner, including on the Internet;
- Filming or photographing a child in a prohibited sexual act on any device, including a computer;
- Knowingly receiving child pornography for the purpose of selling it; or
- Knowingly selling, publishing, distributing, or otherwise disseminating or offering child pornography through any means, including the Internet.
New Jersey Assembly Bill 295
A recent bill introduced in New Jersey as Assembly Bill 295 now seeks to add simple possession of child pornography to the offenses requiring registration as a sex offender under New Jersey's Megan's Law. Specifically, the proposed law change would require registration if convicted of knowingly possessing any "photograph, film, videotape, computer file or program, video game or any other reproduction or reconstruction which depicts a child engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act, including on the Internet."
This new bill, if passed, would require possessors of child pornography to register as sex offenders, even though they may not have had anything to do with the creation, publication, distribution, dissemination or sale of the material. This proposed change illustrates just how serious child pornography charges are in New Jersey. If you have been accused of a crime regarding child pornography, or any other sex related offense requiring registration as a sex offender in New Jersey, contact an experienced Megan's Law attorney in your area today to be advised of your rights and options.