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§ 948.11(2) — Exposing Minors to Harmful Materials — Constitutionality

State v. John T. Trochinski, 2002 WI 56, affirming unpublished decision
For Trochinski: James L. Fullin, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue: Whether § 948.11(2) is unconstitutional because it doesn’t require proof of knowledge of the age of the person to whom harmful materials are displayed (minority being the sole differentiating factor between noncriminal/protected and criminal conduct.


¶39. We conclude that the constitutionality of Wis. Stat. § 948.11(2) is already a matter of settled law. In both Thiel and Kevin L.C., this court and the court of appeals, respectively, previously addressed the constitutionality of § 948.11(2), and we decline Trochinski’s invitation to reverse those decisions based on recent cases, which are distinguishable on the basis of personal contact. The scope of § 948.11(2) is fundamentally different than the situations in Zarnke and Weidner, because under the statute there is a reasonable expectation of face- to-face contact…. We reiterate that the personal contact between the perpetrator and the child-victim is what allows the State to impose on the defendant the risk that the victim is a minor.

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