Kentucky Child Pornography Laws

Under both state and federal law, child pornography is illegal. In Kentucky, there are various laws that criminalize the creation, possession, distribution, and promotion of material that portrays sexual performances by minors. This includes any play, motion picture, photograph or dance that depicts a minor engaging in any of the following:

  • Acts (either actual or simulated) of masturbation, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, sexual intercourse, or deviant sexual intercourse
  • Physical contact with genitals, or intentionally exhibiting the genitals
  • Flagellation or excretion for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification, or
  • Exposing genitals, the pubic area, buttock, or female breasts in an obscene manner

The following tables highlight Kentucky's main child pornography laws.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes section 531.320: Producing Child Pornography

What's Prohibited?

Producing, directing, or promoting any performance that includes sexual conduct by a minor while knowing the character and content of the material.

Penalties

  • If minor is less than 18 years old: Class C felony.
  • If minor is less than 16 years old: Class B felony.
  • If minor incurs physical injury: Class A felony.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes section 531.335: Possession of Child Pornography

What's Prohibited?

While having knowledge of the material's content and that the sexual performance is done by a minor:
  • Knowingly possessing material that visually depicts an actual sexual performance by a minor, or
  • Intentionally viewing material that visually depicts an actual sexual performance by a minor

Exceptions

This law doesn't apply to:
  • An accidental or inadvertent viewing
  • People viewing the material in the course of a law enforcement investigation, or
  • Minors viewing the material, or the minor's parents or school administrators in order to investigate violations

Penalties

  • Class D felony.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes section 531.340: Distributing Child Pornography

What's Prohibited?

While having knowledge of the material's content:
  • Sending the material into Kentucky for sale or distribution
  • Bringing the material into Kentucky for sale or distribution, or
  • Doing any of the following in Kentucky: exhibiting for profit, distributing, offering to distribute, has in his/her possession with intent to distribute, or offering to distribute any material portraying a sexual performance by a minor

Presumption of Intent to Distribute

There is a rebuttable presumption that any person who has more than one copy of a particular piece of child pornography has the intent to distribute.

Penalties

  • First offense: Class D felony.
  • Each subsequent offense: Class C felony.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes section 531.350: Selling Child Pornography

What's Prohibited?

While knowing that the material depicts a sexual performance by a minor, requiring the buyer of a publication to receive any material containing child pornography, denying or threatening to deny a franchise, or imposing a penalty if the buyer fails to accept the materials.

Penalties

  • First offense: Class A misdemeanor.
  • Second offense: Class D felony.
  • Subsequent offense: Class C felony.

Additional Resources

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

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