Connecticut Child Pornography Laws

In every state it is a crime to produce, possess, distribute, or sell child pornography. In Connecticut, child pornography is defined as any visual depiction (including photos, films, videotapes, pictures, or computer-generated images) of someone less than 16 years old engaging in sexually explicit conduct. "Sexually explicit conduct" can include actual or simulated sexual intercourse, bestiality, masturbation, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person.

The following chart highlights Connecticut's main child pornography law.

Code Section

Connecticut Penal Code section 53a-196d-f: Possessing Child Pornography

What's Prohibited?

First-Degree Possession of Child Pornography:

  • Knowingly possessing 50 or more visual depictions of child pornography, or
  • Knowingly possessing any depictions of child pornography that show the infliction (or threat of infliction) of serious physical injury

Second-Degree Possession of Child Pornography:

  • Knowingly possessing between 20-50 visual depictions of child pornography

Third-Degree Possession of Child Pornography:

  • Knowingly possessing less than 20 visual depictions of child pornography

Elements

Before a defendant can be convicted of possessing child pornography the prosecution must prove the following three elements:
  1. Possession
  2. Knowledge of the possession, and
  3. Number of depictions possessed

Penalties

First-Degree: Class B felony. Punishable by imprisonment for at least five years.

Second-Degree: Class C felony. Punishable by imprisonment for at least two years.

Third-Degree: Class D felony. Punishable by imprisonment for at least one year.

Affirmative Defenses

An affirmative defense is a defense that doesn't deny the truth of the allegation against the defendant, but instead gives some other reason why the defendant isn't liable. Under Connecticut's child pornography possession laws there are two affirmative defenses available to defendants:

  1. It is an affirmative defense to an allegation of child pornography possession if:
    • The defendant possessed fewer than three visual depictions of child pornography
    • The defendant didn't knowingly purchase, procure, solicit, or request the child pornography, and
    • The defendant promptly and in good faith took reasonable steps to destroy each copy of the child pornography or reported the matter to a law enforcement agency
  2. It is also an affirmative defense if the defendant possessed a visual depiction of a nude person under 16 years old for a bona fide artistic, medical, scientific, educational, religious, governmental, or judicial purposes.

Importing Child Pornography

It is illegal to intentionally promote child pornography by knowingly importing three of more visual depictions of child pornography into Connecticut. In order to be convicted of importing child pornography, the defendant must have known the content and character of the pornography that he or she was transporting. Importing child pornography is a Class B felony and is punishable by imprisonment for at least five years.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information about Connecticut's child pornography laws contact a local criminal defense attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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