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IFC - Obscentity and Pornography
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INDIANA CODE: Title 35, Article 49 "Obscenity and Pornography"

Class A Misdemeanor:

A person commits a Class A misdemeanor who knowingly or intentionally "disseminates matter to minors that is harmful to minors" or "displays matter that is harmful to minors in an area to which minors have visual, auditory, or physical access" [IC 35-49-3-3].

For the purposes of the law, matter is "harmful to minors" if "it describes or represents, in any form, nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sado-masochistic abuse; considered as a whole, it appeals to the prurient interest in sex of minors; it is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable matter for minors; and considered as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors" [IC 35-49-2-2].

"Matter" means "any book, magazine, newspaper, or other printed or written material; any picture, drawing, photographic, motion picture, or other pictorial representation; any statue or other figure;" or " any recording, transcription, or mechanical, chemical, or electrical reproduction" [IC 35-49-1-3].

"Minor" means "any individual under the age of eighteen" [IC 35-49-1-4].

"Nudity" means "the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area, or buttocks with less than a full opaque covering; the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any part of the nipple; or the depiction of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state" [IC 35-49-1-5].

"Sexual conduct" means "sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct; exhibition of the uncovered genitals in the context of masturbation or other sexual activity; exhibition of the uncovered genitals of a person under sixteen years of age; or sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct with an animal" [IC 35-49-1-9].

"Sado-masochistic abuse" means "flagellation or torture by or upon a person as an act of sexual stimulation or gratification" [IC 35-49-1-8].


A lawful defense to prosecution under the law is for the accused to show that the matter was disseminated or displayed "for legitimate educational purposes" or that the matter was disseminated or displayed "by a bona fide school, museum, or public library or by an employee of a school, museum, or public library acting within the scope of his employment" [IC 35-49-3-4].

Prepared by John W. Shearin
Indiana Department of Education
Information on Individual Rights


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