The New York criminal code punishes sex offenders harshly, especially when their focus of interest is a child. NYPL 263.11 states that it is a criminal offense when “knowing the character and content thereof”, a person “knowingly has in his possession or control, or knowingly accesses with intent to view, any obscene performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than 16 years of age.” This particular offense differs from a charge of possessing a sexual performance by a child (NYPL 263.16) in that the emphasis is on the obscenity factor. State law defines an “obscene” sexual performance as one that

  • Arouses a prurient (excessive) interest in sex, even with contemporary community standards applied
  • Either simulates or actively depicts certain actions in a starkly offensive manner. These acts include lewd exposure of the genitals, masturbation, sexual intercourse, a criminal sexual act, sadism, masochism, bestiality, or excretion.
  • Has no serious artistic, literary, scientific or political value

Possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child in New York is classified as a Class E felony. If convicted, you could spend up to four years in prison, pay a hefty fine, and be subject to an extended probation.  You will also be placed on a sex offender registration list for a minimum of 20 years, which means that anyone running a background check on you for whatever reason will come across your conviction. The burden on your personal and professional relationships will be considerable and remain long after you have served your sentence.

If you bring the materials across state lines, federal authorities may also get involved. Under 18 U.S.C. 2252, even a first-time offender convicted of transporting obscene sexual performances by children could face life imprisonment.

With so much at stake, you need to contact a New York criminal defense attorney as soon as you are charged with possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child. Do not take chances with your future.


There are a few potential defenses to a charge of possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child. Perhaps you had a reasonable belief that the person in the film or video was 16 or older. Or maybe you didn’t know there was obscene material on the used computer you bought at a yard sale or from a friend. There is also the possibility that the evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search and seizure, entrapment, or another method that could make it inadmissible in court.

The consequences of possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child are heavy, so it is important that you face the charges with expert legal representation on your side. Your attorney will look out for your best interests throughout the entire process and build the strong defense you need when facing sex crime charges.

If you are facing charges of possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child, then it is extremely important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Julie Rendelman, LLC promptly at 212-951-1232 to set up a free consultation. Should you be convicted of this crime, then your life may be changed for years to come.