South Dakota Child Pornography Laws

It is a serious criminal offense to possess, manufacture, distribute, or sell child pornography. In South Dakota, child pornography is defined as any image or visual depiction of a minor engaged in a prohibited sexual act. It is important to note that under South Dakota's child pornography laws a "minor" refers to a person who is 15 years old or younger. The chart below outlines South Dakota's main child pornography law.

Code Section

South Dakota Codified Laws section 22-24A-3: Possessing, Manufacturing, or Distributing Child Pornography

What's Prohibited?

A person is guilty of possessing, manufacturing, or distributing child pornography if the person:
  • Creates any visual depiction of a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act (or in the simulation of such an act)
  • Causes or knowingly permits the creation of any visual depiction of a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act (or in the simulation of such an act), or
  • Knowingly possesses, distributes, or otherwise disseminates any visual depiction of a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act (or in the simulation of such an act)

What Constitutes a "Prohibited Sexual Act?"

 

A "prohibited sexual act" is any of the following:
  • Actual or simulated sexual intercourse
  • Sadism
  • Masochism
  • Sexual bestiality
  • Incent
  • Masturbation
  • Sadomasochistic abuse
  • Actual or simulated exhibition of the genitals, the pubic or rectal area, or the bare female breasts in a lewd or lascivious manner
  • Actual contact with a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or a female's breasts, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party
  • Defecation or urination for the purpose of creating sexual excitement in the viewer, or
  • Any act that constitutes battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed

Penalties

Possessing, manufacturing, or distributing child pornography is a Class 4 felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000.

However, if an offender is convicted of a second (or subsequent) violation of this section within 15 years of the prior conviction, then the violation is a Class 3 felony and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $30,000.

Assessment

Any person convicted of possessing, manufacturing, or distributing child pornography must undergo a psycho-sexual assessment.

Selling Child Pornography

In South Dakota it is also illegal to sell child pornography. Any person who sells (or displays for sale) a book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, or electronic image depicting a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act, an activity that involves nudity, or in the simulation of such an act is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Class 6 felonies are punishable by two years in prison, and/or a fine of $4,000.

Additional Resources

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

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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