Pandering Obscenity

Knowingly creating, publishing, promoting, buying, selling, advertising for sale, publicly disseminating, or publicly displaying any obscene material can result in a person being charged with pandering obscenity in Ohio. Under state law, pandering obscenity is a felony offense.

Pandering crimes not only carry the possibility of lengthy prison sentences and steep fines, but alleged offenders can also be required to register as sex offenders if convicted. People who have been accused of this sex crime need to understand that convictions carry lifelong consequences.

Lawyer for Pandering Obscenity Arrests in Columbus, OH

Were you arrested anywhere in Central Ohio for allegedly pandering obscenity? Make sure that you contact Joslyn Law Firm before you say anything to authorities.

Brian Joslyn is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Columbus who represents clients in communities throughout Madison County, Pickaway County, Union County, Delaware County, Fairfield County, Franklin County, and Licking County. Call (614) 444-1900 today to have our lawyer review your case and answer your legal questions during a free initial consultation.


Overview of Pandering Obscenity in Ohio


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Pandering Obscenity Penalties in Franklin County

Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.32, an alleged offender can be charged with pandering obscenity if he or she, with knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, does any of the following:

  • Creates, reproduces, or publishes any obscene material, when the alleged offender knows that the material is to be used for commercial exploitation or will be publicly disseminated or displayed, or when the alleged offender is reckless in that regard;
  • Promotes or advertises for sale, delivery, or dissemination; sells, delivers, publicly disseminates, publicly displays, exhibits, presents, rents, or provides; or offers or agrees to sell, deliver, publicly disseminate, publicly display, exhibit, present, rent, or provide, any obscene material;
  • Creates, directs, or produces an obscene performance, when the alleged offender knows that it is to be used for commercial exploitation or will be publicly presented, or when the alleged offender is reckless in that regard;
  • Advertises or promotes an obscene performance for presentation, or presents or participates in presenting an obscene performance, when the performance is presented publicly, or when admission is charged;
  • Buys, procures, possesses, or controls any obscene material with purpose to violate the second or fourth divisions of this section.

Violations of this statute are generally classified as fifth-degree felony offenses punishable by if up to 12 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If, however, an alleged offender has been previously convicted of this crime or disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, pandering obscenity becomes a fourth-degree felony punishable by if up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.


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Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor Penalties in Columbus

The crime of pandering obscenity becomes much more serious if the alleged material in question involves a minor. Pandering obscenity involving a minor is essentially a child pornography charge.

Ohio Revised Code § 2907.321 makes it a second-degree felony punishable by up to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 if an alleged offender, with knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, does any of the following:

  • Creates, reproduces, or publishes any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or portrayed observers;
  • Promotes or advertises for sale or dissemination; sells, delivers, disseminates, displays, exhibits, presents, rents, or provides; or offers or agrees to sell, deliver, disseminate, display, exhibit, present, rent, or provide, any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or portrayed observers;
  • Creates, directs, or produces an obscene performance that has a minor as one of its participants;
  • Advertises or promotes for presentation, present, or participate in presenting an obscene performance that has a minor as one of its participants; or
  • Brings or causes to be brought into this state any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or portrayed observers.

Under this same statute, it is a fourth-degree felony punishable by if up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for an alleged offender to buy, procure, possess, or control any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants. If the alleged offender has previously been convicted of or pleaded guilty to pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, or illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, any subsequent pandering obscenity involving a minor conviction is a third-degree felony punishable by if up to 60 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.


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Ohio Resources for Pandering Obscenity Crimes

State ex rel. Flynt v. Dinkelacker, 156 Ohio App.3d 595, 2004-Ohio-1695 — Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler magazine, has a long history of pandering obscenity charges in Ohio. In February 1977, he was convicted of pandering obscenity and engaging in organized crime for selling material that was judged to be obscene, although that sentence was later overturned. In March 1998, the Larry Flynt and his brother Jimmy Flynt were indicted by a grand jury on 15 charges of pandering obscenity, although they agreed to stop selling sexually explicit videos, pay a $10,000 fine, and plead guilty to two counts of pandering obscenity. A prosecutor sought to reinstate the 15 felony charges in June 2003 after Flynt allegedly began selling videos from a different store in Cincinnati, but the First District Court of Appeals granted the Flynts’ writ of prohibition preventing a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge from proceeding in the state’s prosecution of the brothers on the previously dismissed indictment. "When a case is over, it's over," Judge Mark Painter wrote. "This case was over in 1999."

State v. Dalton, Nos. 01AP-1313, 02AP-117 — In 1998, Brian Dalton pled guilty to five counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor and five counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor. He was granted judicial release and placed on probation for three years after serving almost four months of his prison term, but Dalton was arrested for his lack of participation in a sex-offender-treatment program. Dalton’s mother informed his probation officer that she was concerned about some items she had found in his apartment, and among the items Dalton’s probation officer collected was a personal journal that depicted Dalton’s personal fantasies of the violent torture and rape of a number of fictitious minor children. Dalton was charged with two counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor—based solely on the content of his personal journal—and entered a guilty plea to one count in exchange for the dismissal of the other count. After the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas denied Dalton’s motion to vacate his guilty plea, the Tenth District Court of Appeals reversed that judgment, vacated the court’s 2001 judgment, and remanded the case to the trial court.


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Joslyn Law Firm | Columbus Pandering Obscenity Lawyer

If you were arrested for alleged pandering obscenity in Central Ohio, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible for help possibly having the criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends clients in Westerville, Whitehall, Worthington, Bexley, Dublin, Gahanna, Grove City, Hilliard, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, and many surrounding areas of Franklin County.

Columbus criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn has been nominated as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in the country by the National Trial Lawyers Association and was selected one of Central Ohio’s “Top Lawyers” by Columbus CEO Magazine. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (614) 444-1900 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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