Court dismisses two counts, upholds others, in professor’s child-porn viewing case


Viewing child pornography online isn’t a crime, the New York Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in the case of a college professor whose work computer was found to have stored more than a hundred illegal images in its web cache, U.S. News reports. The court dismissed one of the two counts of promoting a sexual performance of a child and one of the dozens of counts of possession of child pornography on which James D. Kent was convicted. The court upheld the other counts against Kent, an assistant professor of public administration at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Kent—who said at his sentencing that he “abhorred” child pornography and argued that someone else at Marist must have placed the images on his computer—was sentenced to one to three years in state prison in August 2009. The decision rests on whether accessing and viewing something on the Internet is the same as possessing it, and whether possessing it means you had to procure it. In essence, the court said no to the first question and yes to the second…

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