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The law states:
“Whoever disseminates any matter which is obscene, knowing it to be obscene, or whoever has in his possession any matter which is obscene, knowing it to be obscene, with intent to disseminate it, shall be punished.”
In order to prove a defendant guilty, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:
That the Material in Question is Obscene
The first element of the crime is that the material be obscene. The type of “matter” that is regulated by our law includes any printed material, visual representation, live performance, or sound recording, including but not limited to books, magazines, motion picture films, pamphlets, phonograph records, pictures, photographs, figures, statues, plays, and dances. Any such material is obscene if, taken as a whole, it meets all three of the following three requirements:
First Requirement: Appeals to Prurient Interest
The first requirement for something to be obscene is that, taken as a whole, it must appeal to the prurient interest of an average, adult person in this county. You are to determine this by applying the contemporary standards in this county on the date of the alleged offense. “Prurient interest” means “a shameful or morbid interest in nudity, sex, or excretion,” an unhealthy interest about sexual matters which is repugnant to prevailing moral standards.
Second Requirement: Patently Offensive
The second requirement for something to be obscene is that, taken as a whole, it must depict or describe sexual conduct in a way that would be obviously offensive to an average, adult person in this county. Again, you are to determine this by applying contemporary standards in this county on the date of the alleged offense.
Third Requirement: No Serious Value
The third requirement for something to be obscene is that a reasonable person would find that, taken as a whole, it has no serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
Disseminated the Material
That a defendant disseminated the matter, or possessed with intent to disseminate it.
That a defendant knew of the obscene character of the matter.
Contact a Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer
In order to be convicted of an obscene material charge, the Commonwealth must prove each of these three things beyond a reasonable doubt. You improve your situation when you entrust your case to a knowledgeable and experienced Boston criminal defense attorney. Brad Bailey has over 35 years of legal experience and has defended thousands of state criminal cases. He understand that your reputation, freedom, financial and property interests, and the well-being of your family is on the line. Contact Brad Bailey Law and get started on your defense strategy today.
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