It is unlawful for a person to disseminate any matter which is obscene, and which the person knows it to be obscene.
Under Massachusetts criminal law, the crime of Dissemination of Obscene Matter is a felony sex offense and may be found at Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 272, Section 29.
If a Minor is involved please go to Dissemination of Material Harmful to Minors.
Legal Elements of Dissemination of Obscene Matter
In order to be found guilty of Dissemination of Obscene Matter under Massachusetts criminal law, there must be strong evidence of the following legal elements:
- that the matter in question is obscene
- the defendant disseminated the matter
- the defendant knew of the obscene character of the matter
For the purposes of this crime “matter” is defined as “any printed material, visual representation, live performance or sound recording, including but not limited to books, magazines, motion picture films, pamphlets, phonograph records, pictures, photographs, figures, statues, plays, and dances.
The matter is “obscene” when if, taken as a whole, (1) it appeals to the prurient interest of an average citizen; (2) shows or describes sexual conduct in a way that is patently offensive to an average citizen; and (3) it has no serious value of a literary, artistic, political or scientific kind.
Potential Punishment if Convicted of Dissemination of Obscene Matter in Massachusetts
The potential consequences for Dissemination of Obscene Matter, if convicted, in the Commonwealth may be found at Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 272, Section 29.
A defendant convicted of Dissemination of Obscene Matter shall be sentenced to a term in state prison that does not exceed five years, or in a jail or house of corrections for not more than 2 ½ years.
Although under Massachusetts criminal law this is considered a sex offense, a defendant is not required to register as a sex offender.
Call (508) 213-9113 to schedule a free consultation with Massachusetts Sex Crime Defense Lawyer John L. Calcagni III.