State v. DeSantis – Issue Statute of Limitations for Distribution of Illegal Illegal Porn Videos In NJ For a Sex Crimes Prosecution

The New Jersey Appellate Division has reiterated  that the statute of limitations for the prosecutions of distributions of illegal pornography commences on the date the defendant actually distributed same, not the date of the age of the minors or the date the photos were taken.  The child pornography statute specifically reads that the time to prosecute expires, if a victim is below the age of eighteen at the time of the offense, to either five years after the victim attains the age of eighteen or two years after the victim discovers the offense, whichever is later.  In State v. DeSantis, App. Div.  Defendant was indicted and charged with four counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child (distribution of child pornography) and fourth-degree endangering the welfare of a child (possession of child pornography). Defendant contends that the trial judge erred by not granting his motion to dismiss the indictment as barred by the statute of limitations period. The appellate panel disagrees. If a victim is below the age of eighteen at the time of the offense, the limitation period expands to either five years after the victim attains the age of eighteen or two years after the victim discovers the offense, whichever is later. Here, the limitations period is five years. The photographs were many years old. The panel does not accept defendant’s reading into the statute a limitation provision of two years after discovery by law enforcement officers of the offense. Nor does the panel interpret the statute to measure the limitation period on the age of the actual unknown children depicted.

 

Submitted by Child Pornography Defense Attorney, Jeffrey Hark

         

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