Pandering Obscenity

Creating, publishing, promoting, selling, burying, advertising or in any way publicly displaying obscene material can be considered a crime. In Ohio, it’s illegal to distribute or create material that’s considered obscene under the law. This can include sexual activity, nudity, bizarre violence, masturbation or interest in human bodily functions of elimination.

It might seem harmless to create material that’s considered obscene if no one was harmed during the production. However, the state of Ohio will disagree. Pandering obscenity is a felony-level crime which includes prison time if you’re convicted. It’s highly recommended you seek active legal counsel if you’ve been charged with pandering obscenity. 

Defense Attorney for Pandering Obscenity in Cincinnati, OH

In many cases, people charged with pandering obscenity weren’t even aware it was a crime. Most offenders who distribute, create or produce obscene material do so without harming anyone else. Unfortunately, the state of Ohio doesn’t tolerate people who are pandering obscene material. You could be charged and face serious consequences including prison. 

If you’ve been arrested for pandering obscenity, contact Joslyn Law Firm. Our defense attorneys excel at creating formidable defenses for our clients. We can utilize our skills to build a strong defense and uncover any legal options that could assist with your case. Pick up the phone and dial (513) 399-6289 to schedule your first consultation free.

Joslyn Law Firm represents people accused of sex crimes throughout the Cincinnati area including Blue Ash, Cincinnati, Norwood, and Harrison. 

Overview of Pandering Obscenity in Ohio  


What is Pandering Obscenity Under Ohio Law?

It’s illegal in Ohio to distribute, produce, promote, sell, advertise or publicly display any type of obscene material. Doing so can result in serious criminal charges with harsh penalties. The Ohio Revised Code § 2907.32 states a person is guilty of pandering obscenity if they do the following: 

  • Create, publish or reproduce obscene material where it can be displayed or can be used for commercial exploitation;
  • Promote, advertise, deliver, publicly display, or any attempts to do the above actions knowingly with obscene material;
  • Direct, create or produce an obscene performance aware that the material will be used for commercial exploitation or will be publicly displayed;
  • Advertise or promote an obscene performance to present publicly or for some type of charged admission;
  • Procure, buy or possess obscene material with the intent to promote, advertise, deliver or publicly display the content

Pandering obscenity is a fifth-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 12 months in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $2,500

Having a criminal history of pandering obscenity can lead to an enhanced sentence. If the offender has a prior pandering conviction, then they may face a fourth-degree felony. The penalties of a fourth-degree felony include: 

  • Up to 18 months in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $5,000

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How is Obscene Defined Under Ohio Law?

You might be confused on what Ohio law means by “obscene” since it’s such a vague description. The term obscene consists of strange and repulsive behaviors that can range from deviant sexual behavior to cruel and violent acts. According to the Ohio Revised Code, material or performances are considered obscene if they contain any of the following factors:

  • The appeal of the material is to prurient interest;
  • The material was created to arouse lust by displaying sexual activity, masturbation, sexual excitement, masturbation, nudity, or representing human beings as objects for a sexual reason;
  • It contains bestiality, cruelty, brutality or extreme and bizarre violence and was created to arouse sexual interest;
  • It appeals to scatological interest of displaying human bodily functions of elimination that would disgust or repulse a person with ordinary sensibilities and serves no genuine scientific, educational, moral, sociological or artistic purpose;
  • It contains a series of displays or descriptions of any of the material mentioned above and was created for a personal interest or a commercial reason, rather than any scientific, moral, sociological, educational or artistic reason

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Pandering Obscenity to a Minor in Ohio

The crime of pandering obscenity can be enhanced if a child was starred in the material. Essentially, pandering obscenity involving a minor can become a child pornography charge. This means the penalties are much more severe. 

You will face a second-degree felony if you did any of the following: 

  • Create, reproduce, or publish obscene material with a minor as a participant or a portrayed observer;
  • Promotes, advertises, displays, provides or rents out any obscene material with a minor performing or portrayed as an observer;
  • Direct, produce or create an obscene performance involving a minor;
  • Promote or advertise an obscene performance of a child; or
  • Bring or causes to be brought into Ohio any obscene material consisting of minors

 A second-degree felony can result in:

  • Up to 8 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $15,000

Creating obscene material of a mentally person is also a crime and is charged as a third-degree felony, which is punishable by: 

  • Up to 5 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000 

Buying or possessing obscene material involving a minor is a fourth-degree felony. The maximum penalties for a fourth-degree felony include: 

  • Up to 12 months in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $2,500 

If you already have a prior charge for buying obscene material involving children, then you’ll face a third-degree felony. You could be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison and be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000. 


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Additional Resources

Enough is Enough – Visit the official website of Enough is Enough, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to ending child pornography. Access their site to learn more about their research, resources for those suffering and ways to take action.

Pandering Obscenity Laws – Visit the official website for Ohio Laws and Rules to read their Revised Code. Access the pandering obscenity statute to learn the elements of the crime as well as the legal language surrounding the penalties. 


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Pandering Obscenity Lawyers in Hamilton County, OH

If you or someone you know has been charged with pandering obscenity, we recommend you contact Joslyn Law Firm. The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm have represented numerous people accused of pandering obscenity. We can use our skills, techniques and experience to assist you. 

Call us now at (513) 399-6289 to set up your first consultation completely free. Our lawyers will sit with you, review your case and answer any of your burning questions. We accept clients throughout the greater Hamilton County area including Blue Ash, Harrison, Cleves and Cincinnati.


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This article was last updated on July 25, 2019.