State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1        AN  ACT  to  amend  the Criminal Code of 1961 by changing
 2    Section 11-21.

 3        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 4    represented in the General Assembly:

 5        Section  5.  The  Criminal  Code  of  1961  is amended by
 6    changing Section 11-21 as follows:

 7        (720 ILCS 5/11-21) (from Ch. 38, par. 11-21)
 8        Sec. 11-21. Harmful material.
 9        (a)  Elements of the Offense.
10        A person who, with knowledge that a person  is  a  child,
11    that  is  a  person  under  18  years of age, or who fails to
12    exercise reasonable care in ascertaining the true  age  of  a
13    child, knowingly distributes to or sends or causes to be sent
14    to,  or  exhibits  to, or offers to distribute or exhibit any
15    harmful material to a child, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
16        (b)  Definitions.
17        (1)  Material is  harmful  if,  to  the  average  person,
18    applying  contemporary  standards,  its  predominant  appeal,
19    taken as a whole, is to prurient interest, that is a shameful
20    or  morbid  interest in nudity, sex, or excretion, which goes
21    substantially  beyond   customary   limits   of   candor   in
22    description   or  representation  of  such  matters,  and  is
23    material  the  redeeming  social  importance  of   which   is
24    substantially less than its prurient appeal.
25        (2)  Material, as used in this Section means any writing,
26    picture, record or other representation or embodiment.
27        (3)  Distribute  means to transfer possession of, whether
28    with or without consideration.
29        (4)  Knowingly, as used  in  this  section  means  having
30    knowledge   of   the  contents  of  the  subject  matter,  or
31    recklessly failing to exercise  reasonable  inspection  which
                            -2-                LRB9105275RCks
 1    would have disclosed the contents thereof.
 2        (c)  Interpretation of Evidence.
 3        The  predominant  appeal  to  prurient  interest  of  the
 4    material  shall  be judged with reference to average children
 5    of the same general age of the child to  whom  such  material
 6    was  offered,  distributed,  sent  or  exhibited,  unless  it
 7    appears from the nature of the matter or the circumstances of
 8    its  dissemination,  distribution  or  exhibition  that it is
 9    designed for specially susceptible groups, in which case  the
10    predominant  appeal  of  the  material  shall  be judged with
11    reference to its intended or probable recipient group.
12        In prosecutions under this section,  where  circumstances
13    of    production,    presentation,    sale,    dissemination,
14    distribution,  or  publicity  indicate  the material is being
15    commercially exploited for the sake of its  prurient  appeal,
16    such  evidence is probative with respect to the nature of the
17    material and can justify the conclusion  that  the  redeeming
18    social  importance  of  the material is in fact substantially
19    less than its prurient appeal.
20        (d)  Sentence.
21        Distribution of harmful material  in  violation  of  this
22    Section  is  a  Class  A  misdemeanor. A second or subsequent
23    offense is a Class 4 felony.
24        (e)  Affirmative Defenses.
25        (1)  Nothing in this section prohibits shall prohibit any
26    public library or  any  library  operated  by  an  accredited
27    institution  of  higher  education  from  circulating harmful
28    material to any person under 18 years of age,  provided  such
29    circulation   is   in  aid  of  a  legitimate  scientific  or
30    educational purpose, and it shall be an  affirmative  defense
31    in  any  prosecution for a violation of this section that the
32    act charged was committed in aid of legitimate scientific  or
33    educational purposes.
34        (2)  Nothing  in  this  section shall prohibit any parent
                            -3-                LRB9105275RCks
 1    from distributing to his child any harmful material.
 2        (3)  Proof that the defendant  demanded,  was  shown  and
 3    acted  in  reliance  upon  any  of the following documents as
 4    proof of the age of a  child,  shall  be  a  defense  to  any
 5    criminal prosecution under this section: A document issued by
 6    the  federal  government  or  any  state, county or municipal
 7    government or subdivision or agency thereof,  including,  but
 8    not  limited  to,  a  motor  vehicle  operator's  license,  a
 9    registration  certificate  issued under the Federal Selective
10    Service Act or an identification card issued to a  member  of
11    the armed forces.
12        (4)  In the event an advertisement of harmful material as
13    defined   in   this   section   culminates  in  the  sale  or
14    distribution of such  harmful  material  to  a  child,  under
15    circumstances  where  there  was no personal confrontation of
16    the child by the defendant, his employees or agents, as where
17    the  order  or  request  for  such   harmful   material   was
18    transmitted   by   mail,   telephone,  or  similar  means  of
19    communication, and delivery of such harmful material  to  the
20    child was by mail, freight, or similar means of transport, it
21    shall be a defense in any prosecution for a violation of this
22    section   that  the  advertisement  contained  the  following
23    statement, or a statement substantially similar thereto,  and
24    that  the defendant required the purchaser to certify that he
25    was not under 18 years of age and that the purchaser  falsely
26    stated  that he was not under 18 years of age: "NOTICE: It is
27    unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to purchase the
28    matter herein advertised. Any person under 18  years  of  age
29    who  falsely  states that he is not under 18 years of age for
30    the purpose of obtaining the material advertised  herein,  is
31    guilty  of  a Class B misdemeanor under the laws of the State
32    of Illinois."
33        (f)  Child Falsifying Age.
34        Any person under 18 years  of  age  who  falsely  states,
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 1    either  orally or in writing, that he is not under the age of
 2    18 years, or  who  presents  or  offers  to  any  person  any
 3    evidence  of  age and identity which is false or not actually
 4    his own for the purpose of ordering, obtaining,  viewing,  or
 5    otherwise  procuring  or  attempting  to  procure or view any
 6    harmful material, is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
 7    (Source: P.A. 77-2638.)

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