WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE
2024 REGULAR SESSION
House Bill 4654
By Delegate Steele
[Introduced January 12, 2024; Referred
to the Committee on the Judiciary]
A BILL to amend and reenact §61-8A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to removing bona fide schools, public libraries, and museums from the list of exemptions from criminal liability relating to distribution and display to minor of obscene matter.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
The criminal provisions of §61-8A-2 of this code do not apply to:
(a) A bona fide school, in the presentation of local or state approved curriculum;
(b) A public library, or museum, which is displaying or distributing any obscene matter to a minor only when the minor was accompanied by his or her parent
(c) (a) A licensed medical or mental health care provider, or judicial or law-enforcement officer, during the course of medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment or judicial or law-enforcement activities;
(d) (b) A person who did not know or have reason to know, and could not reasonably have learned, that the person to whom the obscene matter was distributed or displayed was a minor and who took reasonable measures to ascertain the identity and age of the minor;
(e) (c) A person who routinely distributes obscene matter by the use of telephone, computer network or the Internet and who distributes such matter to any minor under the age of eighteen years after the person has taken reasonable measures to prevent access by minors to the obscene matter; or
(f) (d) A radio or television station, cable television service or other telecommunications service regulated by the federal communications commission.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to remove schools, museums, and public libraries from the exemption which protects these types of entities from prosecution for distribution and display to minor of an obscene matter.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.