A new law in New Jersey increases penalities for many sex crimes in New Jersey which was signed by the Governor this week. A summary, but not complete list of the new law is as follows.
The definition of a a "Child" under N.J. law is now any minor under 18-years of age. Hence, for child endangering statute, anyone who engages in sexual conduct or engages in other conduct which would debauch the morals of a child (under 18-years old), has committed a second degree or third degree crime according to the circumstances. This new definition of child will mean that it is against the law for anyone to to transfer, copying, or distribute any pornographic video or pornographic image of any actor who is under 18-years of age.
It is now a first degree crime for anyone to permit or engage a child to commit a prohibited sexual act knowing that it will be published, photographed, filmed, reproduced. If he or she only photographs the prohibited sexual act it is a crime of the second degree.
The definition of "file-sharing", or "peer-to-peer network" programs is now defined. That is any program, download, sofeware, or other media technique which allows someone to access your computer to download or upload, or transfer images in your computer. Interesting question, does this include upload to the cloud?
Distribution of child pornography or using a file-sharing system which permits its distribution is now a crime of the second-degree. Whether or not the defendant knew that he was using a file-sharing network is no defense, because it is now a strict liability crime. Sentencing will now include periods of parole ineligibility from one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed or five years which ever is greater.
Viewing of child pornography in of it self is a crime of the third-degree. Even viewing pornography in which the actor is depicted as or presents the appearance of being under 18 engaged in prohibited sexual conduct is guilty of the crime of the third degree, although, the presumption is rebuttable.
In the event that the child is in fact under 18-years of age the crime is automatic and there is no rebuttable presumption because the viewer is strictly liable in the event that the actor is in fact a child, under 18-years of age. So if the actor in the video or movie looks 30-years old, and in fact is only 17-years old the crime has occurrd.