Legal Information: Tennessee

Statutes: Tennessee

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Updated: 
June 16, 2017

39-13-529. Sexual exploitation of minors via electronic means; persons subject to prosecution

(a) It is an offense for a person eighteen (18) years of age or older, by means of oral, written or electronic communication, electronic mail or internet service, including webcam communications, directly or through another, to intentionally command, hire, persuade, induce or cause a minor to engage in simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive or in sexual activity, where such simulated sexual activity or sexual activity is observed by that person or by another.

(b) It is unlawful for any person eighteen (18) years of age or older, directly or by means of electronic communication, electronic mail or internet service, including webcam communications, to intentionally:

(1) Engage in simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive or in sexual activity for the purpose of having the minor view the simulated sexual activity or sexual activity, including circumstances where the minor is in the presence of the person, or where the minor views such activity via electronic communication, including electronic mail, internet service and webcam communications;

(2) Display to a minor, or expose a minor to, any material containing simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive or sexual activity if the purpose of the display can reasonably be construed as being for the sexual arousal or gratification of the minor or the person displaying the material; or

(3) Display to a law enforcement officer posing as a minor, and whom the person making the display reasonably believes to be less than eighteen (18) years of age, any material containing simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive or sexual activity, if the purpose of the display can reasonably be construed as being for the sexual arousal or gratification of the intended minor or the person displaying the material.

(4)(A) Except as provided in subdivision (b)(4)(B), it is an exception to the application of this subsection (b) that the victim is at least fifteen (15) but less than eighteen (18) years of age and the defendant is no more than four (4) years older than the victim.

(B) Subdivision (b)(4)(A) shall not apply or be an exception to the application of this subsection (b), if the defendant intentionally commanded, hired, induced or caused the victim to violate this subsection (b).

(c) A person is subject to prosecution in this state under this section for any conduct that originates in this state, or for any conduct that originates by a person located outside this state, where the conduct involved a minor located in this state or the solicitation of a law enforcement officer posing as a minor located in this state.

(d) As used in this section:

(1) “Community” means the judicial district, as defined by § 16-2-506, in which a violation is alleged to have occurred;

(2) “Material” means:

(A) Any picture, drawing, photograph, undeveloped film or film negative, motion picture film, videocassette tape or other pictorial representation;

(B) Any statue, figure, theatrical production or electrical reproduction;

(C) Any image stored on a computer hard drive, a computer disk of any type, or any other medium designed to store information for later retrieval; or

(D) Any image transmitted to a computer or other electronic media or video screen, by telephone line, cable, satellite transmission, or other method that is capable of further transmission, manipulation, storage or accessing, even if not stored or saved at the time of transmission;

(3) “Patently offensive” means that which goes substantially beyond customary limits of candor in describing or representing such matters; and

(4) “Sexual activity” means any of the following acts:

(A) Vaginal, anal or oral intercourse, whether done with another person or an animal;

(B) Masturbation, whether done alone or with another human or an animal;

(C) Patently offensive, as determined by contemporary community standards, physical contact with or touching of a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks or breasts in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or sexual abuse;

(D) Sadomasochistic abuse, including flagellation, torture, physical restraint, domination or subordination by or upon a person for the purpose of sexual gratification of any person;

(E) The insertion of any part of a person's body or of any object into another person's anus or vagina, except when done as part of a recognized medical procedure by a licensed professional;

(F) Patently offensive, as determined by contemporary community standards, conduct, representations, depictions or descriptions of excretory functions; or

(G) Lascivious exhibition of the female breast or the genitals, buttocks, anus or pubic or rectal area of any person.

(e)(1) A violation of subsection (a) is a Class B felony.

(2) A violation of subsection (b) is a Class E felony; provided, that, if the minor is less than thirteen (13) years of age, the violation is a Class C felony.(f) It shall not be a defense to a violation of this section that a minor victim of the offense consented to the conduct that constituted the offense.