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Attorney General Proposes Updating Oregon's Child Pornography Laws

The day after Oregon’s Supreme Court announced that in Oregon it’s legal to view child pornography on a computer as long as it’s free — the attorney general has asked the legislature for legal changes.

The attorney general’s spokesman, Tony Green, said it’s important the state has every law enforcement tool available to fight this problem.

Tony Green: “With the way computers work now you can view something, you can manipulate it, you can alert other people to it. But it isn’t necessarily on your computer,  although evidence of your activities do end up on your computer. And that’s the area where we need to make sure that the legislative intent clearly covers all of that.”

A divided Oregon Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the crime of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse requires proof a defendant intended to download child pornography.

In the two cases the court overturned, evidence demonstrated the defendant had viewed images online, but it did not prove that they intended to download it.

In an opinion, Chief Justice Paul DeMuniz suggested the Legislature could bring Oregon’s laws into step with technological realities — as many other states have done.

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