Taylor Guthrie, a former teacher in Hall County, was arrested yesterday after he was accused of sending inappropriate and obscene texts to a 16-year-old student.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors in today's post as to provide clarity to the offense.
Electronically Furnishing Obscene Materials to Minors in Georgia
Electronically Furnishing Obscene Materials to Minors in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-12-100 as:
A person commits the crime of electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors if
1. Knowing or having good reason to know the character of the material furnished, the person electronically furnishes to an individual whom the person knows or should have known is a minor:
- Any picture, photograph, drawing, or similar visual representation or image of a person or portion of a human body which depicts sexually explicit nudity, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors; or
- Any written or aural matter that contains material of the nature described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph or contains explicit verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse;
2. The offensive portions of the material electronically furnished to the minor are not merely an incidental part of an otherwise non-offending whole;
3. The material furnished to the minor, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value; and
4. The material furnished to the minor, taken as a whole, is harmful to minors in that it appeals to and incites prurient interest.
A person who is convicted of electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors in Georgia will be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. This means the penalties can include up to $5,000 in fines, 12 months in jail, or both.
Crimes that involve minors or children are taken very seriously in the state of Georgia. Under Georgia Law, a minor is a person under the age of 17 years old. There are many different types of crimes that fall into the category of obscenity related crimes.
Legally, obscene material can be determined from the following test:
- Whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, taken as a whole, it predominately appeals to the prurient interest, that is, a shameful or morbid interest in nudity, sex, or excretion
- Whether the material taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value; and
- Whether the material depicts or describes in a patently offensive, way sexual conduct, as specifically defined by applicable state law.
Just as with any other type of crime, people can be wrongfully accused of obscenity-based crimes as well. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.