New York Penal Law § 245.11: Public display of offensive sexual material

It is a crime in New York to display sexual explicit material in a store window, rack, showcase, wall, door, or in any other place where it is visible to the public. Under New York Penal Law § 245.03 you could be charged with public display of offensive sexual material if you permit it to be displayed in a manner that is visible to the public material with images that are represent portions of the human body that predominantly appear to the prurient interest in sex and that depict nudity, sexual conduct, sado-masochistic abuse, or genitalia.

Example

Convenience store A displays a rack of 10 different magazines each of which displays on the cover images of women with exposed breasts, exposed pubic hair, or exposed buttocks. The rack of magazines is directly next to the checkout counter, easily visible to anyone entering or exiting the store. The store owner or manager could be charged with public display of offensive material.

Related Offenses
  1. Offensive exhibition: New York Penal Law § 245.05
Defenses

You would not be guilty of public display of offensive sexual material if it is displayed openly in a business that restricts admittance to adults only, and it is not otherwise visible to the public.

Sentence

Public display of offensive sexual material is a class A misdemeanor. This means that if you are convicted your sentence could include a jail term of up to 1 year, a probation term of 3 years, and payment of a fine.

New York Penal Law § 245.11: Public display of offensive sexual material

A person is guilty of public display of offensive sexual material when, with knowledge of its character and content, he displays or permits to be displayed in or on any window, showcase, newsstand, display rack, wall, door, billboard, display board, viewing screen, moving picture screen, marquee or similar place, in such manner that the display is easily visible from or in any: public street, sidewalk or thoroughfare; transportation facility; or any place accessible to members of the public without fee or other limit or condition of admission such as a minimum age requirement and including but not limited to schools, places of amusement, parks and playgrounds but excluding rooms or apartments designed for actual residence; any pictorial, three-dimensional or other visual representation of a person or a portion of the human body that predominantly appeals to prurient interest in sex, and that:

  1. depicts nudity, or actual or simulated sexual conduct or sado-masochistic abuse; or

  2. depicts or appears to depict nudity, or actual or simulated sexual conduct or sado-masochistic abuse, with the area of the male or female subject's unclothed or apparently unclothed genitals, pubic area or buttocks, or of the female subject's unclothed or apparently unclothed breast, obscured by a covering or mark placed or printed on or in front of the material displayed, or obscured or altered in any other manner.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Even though public display of offensive sexual material is a misdemeanor and not a felony, it is still a crime. If you are convicted you could end up in jail. It is important that you are represented by someone with experience to ensure that your rights are protected. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been accused of public lewdness, indecent exposure, fondling, sex crimes and other criminal offenses. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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