Available 24/7. FREE attorney consultation via phone, video conferencing, or in person

Call For Your Free Consultation

New York Penal Law § 263.15: Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child

Get Defense from Our Proven New York Attorney

New York Penal Law § 263.15 explicitly criminalizes the act of promoting a sexual performance by a child. This law addresses the production, direction, or promotion of any sexual performance involving a minor under the age of 17. The gravity of this charge reflects society’s strong stance against the exploitation of children and underscores the need for an aggressive defense to protect the accused’s rights and freedoms. Working with a skilled New York sex crime lawyer is crucial. At Lebedin Kofman LLP, our team of lawyers has the knowledge and experience necessary to challenge the prosecution’s case, safeguard your rights, and work toward the most favorable outcome possible.

Hypothetical Example of the Offense

John Doe, a 40-year-old photographer, is approached by an acquaintance who suggests they could make money by creating explicit content. John agrees and arranges for a photo shoot with a 15-year-old, promising her a modeling career. John directs and photographs the minor in various sexual poses and then sells the photos online. This scenario would be a clear violation of New York Penal Law § 263.15.

Related Offenses

Definitions and Elements of the Offense

Under New York Penal Law § 263.15, “promoting a sexual performance by a child” is a criminal offense that is defined and prosecuted based on the following terms and conditions:

  • “Sexual Performance” refers to any performance or display, which can include a play, movie, photograph, dance, or any other visual representation observed by an audience, that involves sexual conduct by a child who is less than seventeen years old.
  • “Promote” involves producing, directing, staging, or otherwise facilitating the creation of a performance that includes sexual conduct by a child, as well as photographing or recording a child engaged in sexual acts.
  • “Sexual Conduct” includes not only actual sexual activity but also simulated sexual acts. This can encompass sexual intercourse, oral or anal sexual contact, masturbation, bestiality, sado-masochistic abuse, or the lewd exhibition of the genitals.


For a conviction under this statute, the prosecution must establish the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant knowingly engaged in the production, direction, or promotion of a performance that includes sexual conduct featuring a child under the age of seventeen.
  • The defendant intentionally engaged in these activities with the purpose that the sexual performance would be photographed, recorded, reproduced, or distributed.
  • The defendant acted with the awareness or belief that the performance would include sexual conduct as defined under the statute.

Possible Legal Defenses

  • Age misconception: If the defendant had a reasonable belief that the child was above the age of consent, this might be a defense, depending on the circumstances and evidence.
  • Lack of knowledge: The defendant may argue that they did not know that the performance involved a child or included sexual content.
  • Violations of Constitutional Rights and Evidentiary Challenges: One strategy that can be used is if the methods used by law enforcement to seize the content violated the defendant’s rights or if the evidence was tampered with.


Promoting a sexual performance by a child (NY Penal Law § 263.15) is a class D felony in New York. Conviction can result in the following penalties:

  • Imprisonment: Up to 7 years in prison.
  • Probation: up to 10 years of probation upon release.
  • Fines: Substantial fines can be imposed.
  • Sex offender registration: Mandatory registration as a sex offender for at least 20 years.

The severity of the penalties underscores the gravity of the offense and the state’s commitment to protecting minors from exploitation and abuse. Legal representation is crucial for anyone charged with this crime, as the consequences of a conviction are severe and life-altering.

Provision for Minors Charged with the Offense

In New York, it is important to note that minors can indeed be charged and prosecuted for offenses related to promoting a sexual performance by a child or the possession and distribution of child pornography. The law applies to all individuals, regardless of their age, to prevent the exploitation of children under the age of 17. However, the criminal justice system often treats minors differently from adults due to their status and the belief in their greater capacity for rehabilitation.

Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child (New York Penal Law § 263.15)

A person is guilty of promoting a sexual performance by a child when, knowing the character and content thereof, he produces, directs, or promotes any performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than seventeen years of age.

Promoting a sexual performance by a child is a class D felony.

Lebedin Kofman LLP: Providing Quality Legal Assistance

A conviction for promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child under New York Penal Law § 263.15 can lead to long-term consequences that extend well beyond the immediate legal penalties. These can include substantial prison time, substantial fines, and the possibility of mandatory registration as a sex offender. The repercussions of being on the sex offender registry touch almost every aspect of life, including limitations on where you can live and work, as well as damage to your reputation and personal relationships.

Beyond the legal sanctions, the social stigma associated with a child pornography conviction can be overwhelming, potentially leading to isolation, difficulties in securing employment, and strained family dynamics. The emotional toll on those convicted and their loved ones can be significant and enduring.

Given the gravity of these potential outcomes, it is essential to have strong legal support if you’re facing such charges. A skilled lawyer from Lebedin Kofman LLP can provide the necessary guidance and representation to navigate the legal process while aiming to minimize the impact of these charges on your future. Our team of New York sex crimes attorneys can provide the seasoned legal assistance and quality advocacy necessary to protect your rights and pursue the most favorable outcome available in your case. Contact Lebedin Kofman LLP at (646) 663-4430 to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

Schedule A free Consultation

Our Clients Share Their Experiences

The Opinions That Matter Most

Our Commitment

Fighting For Your Best Interest

We Have a Highly Experienced Legal Team

When You Hire Us, You Get Us

We Speak Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian & Spanish

We Offer Free Consultations In Person & Over The Phone

We Have a Proven Track Record

We Are Available 24/7

Request a Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below and we will respond to your inquiry within
24-hours guaranteed.

Table of Contents