Is Showing a Film With Naked Dancing and Couple Having Sex (Shown from the Waist Up) to 16-Year-Old

the Crime of “Exhibiting Harmful Matter to a Minor”? That’s the question in People v. Dyke, decided last week, and the answer is “no,” in the absence of more details about the movies.

The prosecution doubtless arose because the defendant (the father of a friend of the 16-year-old) tried to seduce the 16-year-old, and the defendant was indeed convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery (for stroking the 16-year-old’s breast). But the court concludes that, absent more details about the movies, evidence that such movies were shown is insufficient to sustain a conviction for displaying “harmful to minors” material (basically, the same test as for obscenity but with “for minors” attached to each prong). It’s a short and readable decision — if you’re interested, check it out.

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