New Mexico Child Pornography Laws

Under both federal and state laws, it is a crime to produce, possess, or distribute, child pornography. However, what constitutes child pornography differs slightly from state to state.

In New Mexico, child pornography is criminalized under the Sexual Exploitation of Children Act. Under this law, it is illegal to possess, distribute, or produce material that depicts a minor (someone under 18 years old) engaging in "prohibited sexual act." Prohibited sexual acts are any of the following:

  • Sexual intercourse (including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral- anal, between people of the same or of the opposite sex)
  • Bestiality
  • Masturbation
  • Sadomasochistic abuse for the purpose of sexual stimulation, or
  • Lewd and sexually explicit exhibition focusing on the genital or pubic area for the purpose of sexual stimulation

The following table briefly highlights the main aspects of New Mexico's Sexual Exploitation of Children Act.

Code Section

New Mexico Code section 30-6A-1: The Sexual Exploitation of Children Act

Possessing Child Pornography

It is illegal to:

  • Intentionally possess any material depicting a prohibited sexual act (or simulation of such an act), if the offender knows (or has reason to know) that at least one of the people depicted is a child under 18 years old

Penalty: Fourth degree felony.

Distributing Child Pornography

It is illegal to:

  • Intentionally distributing material depicting a prohibited sexual act (or simulation of such an act), if the offender knows (or has reason to know) that at least one of the people depicted is a child under 18 years old, or
  • Intentionally distributing any material depicting a prohibited sexual act (or simulation of such an act) if the offender knows (or has reason to know) that a real child who is under 18 years old, who isn't a participant, is depicted as a participant in that act

Penalty: Third degree felony.

Producing Child Pornography

It is illegal to:
  • Intentionally manufacture any material depicting a prohibited sexual act (or simulation of such an act), if one or more of the participants are less than 18 years old
  • Penalty: Second degree felony
  • Intentionally cause or permit a child under 18 years old to engage in a prohibited sexual act (or simulation of such an act), if the offender knows or intends that the act will be recorded or performed publicly
  • Penalty: Third degree felony, but if the child is less than 13 years old then it is a second degree felony.
  • Intentionally manufacture any material depicting a prohibited sexual act (or simulation of such an act) if the offender knows (or has reason to know) that a real child who is less than 18 years old, who isn't a participant in the act, is depicted as a participant in that act
  • Penalty: Fourth degree felony.

Additional Resources

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

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