City of West Haven, CT
New Haven County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of West Haven: Art I, 3-12-1984 by Ord. No. 210; Art. II, 5-28-1985 by Ord. No. 228. Section 158-3 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 3-12-1984 by Ord. No. 210]

§ 158-1 Definitions.

As used in this Article, the following words shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the following meanings:
DISSEMINATE
To import, publish, produce, print, manufacture, distribute, sell, lease, exhibit or display.
MATTER
Any printed material, visual representation, live performance or sound recording, including but not limited to books, magazines, motion pictures, films, pictures, tapes, photographs, figures and statues.
PATENTLY OFFENSIVE
Material which, if taken as a whole:
A. 
Appeals to prurient interest of the average person applying the contemporary standards of the State of Connecticut.
B. 
Depicts or describes sexual conduct in patently offensive ways.
C. 
Lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
SEXUAL CONDUCT
Human masturbation, sexual intercourse, actual or simulated, normal or perverted, or any touching of the genitals, pubic areas or buttocks of the human male or female, whether alone or between members of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals, or any depiction or representation of excretory functions, any lewd exhibition of the genitals, flagellation or torture in the context of a sexual relationship. Sexual intercourse is simulated when it depicts explicit intercourse which gives the appearance of the communication of sexual intercourse, normal or perverted.

§ 158-2 Prohibited acts; penalties for offenses.

A. 
Whoever sells or distributes or disseminates or imports or loans or possesses with the intent to sell or exhibit prints or publications for the purpose of selling or distributing a book, pamphlet, ballad, printed paper, phonograph record, tape record, print, picture, movie, figure, image or description which depicts or describes patently offensive representations or descriptions of an ultimate sexual act, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, or patently offensive representations or descriptions of masturbation, excretory functions or lewd exhibitions of the genitals shall be fined in an amount not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not to exceed 30 days, or both.
B. 
Whoever performs or promotes the performance of any act which depicts or describes patently offensive representations or descriptions of ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, or patently offensive representations or descriptions of masturbation, excretory functions or lewd exhibitions of the genitals shall be fined in an amount not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not to exceed 30 days, or both.

§ 158-3 Seizure of patently offensive materials. [1]

A. 
Upon the conviction or guilty plea of any person to the offense described in § 158-2, the Chief of Police and/or his designee may immediately seize any patently offensive materials which were the subject of the prior arrest.
B. 
No such seizure shall occur until seven days after the Chief of Police and/or his designee:
(1) 
Lists the exact materials sought to be seized; and
(2) 
Serves notice, either personally or by mail, of said list and his intention to seize the same upon any person or persons known to have any interest in said materials, including:
(a) 
The publisher.
(b) 
The wholesaler, distributor or circulator.
(c) 
The retailer or dealer who has or may have possession of such materials.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.

§ 158-4 Defenses and disclaimers.

A. 
It shall be an affirmative defense in any action concerning this Article that the materials referred to were disseminated or presented for a bona fide scientific, medical, educational, governmental, artistic or judicial purpose.
B. 
Any such materials, which would otherwise fall within the scope of this Article, are declared exempt from the scope of the same.
[Adopted 5-28-1985 by Ord. No. 228]

§ 158-5 Definitions.

For the purposes of this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MATERIAL
Anything tangible which is capable of being used or adapted to arouse prurient, shameful or morbid interest, whether through reading, observation, sound or any other manner.
OBSCENE AS TO MINORS
Materials or a performance that depicts a prohibited sexual act or sexually explicit nudity and, taken as a whole, is harmful to minors. For purposes of this definition, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A. 
Any person less than 17 years old.
B. 
Erotic fondling, nude performance, sexual excitement, sadomasochistic abuse, masturbation or sexual intercourse.
C. 
The showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a fully opaque covering or the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple or the depiction of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state in any play, motion picture, dance or other exhibition performed before an audience.
D. 
Touching a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks or, if such person is a female, breast.
E. 
The condition of human male or female genitals when in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal.
F. 
Flagellation or torture by or upon a person clad in undergarments, a mask or a bizarre costume or the condition of being fettered, bound or otherwise physically restrained on the part of one so clothed.
G. 
The real or simulated touching, rubbing or otherwise stimulating of a person's own clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks or, if the person is female, breast, either by manual manipulation or with an artificial instrument.
H. 
Intercourse, real or simulated, whether genital-genital, oral-genital, analgenital or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between a human and an animal or with an artificial genital.
I. 
That quality of any description or representation, in whatever form, of a prohibited sexual act or sexually explicit nudity when:
(1) 
It predominantly appeals to the prurient, shameful or morbid interest of minors;
(2) 
It is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors; and
(3) 
Taken as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, educational, political or scientific value for minors.
J. 
The showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a fully opaque covering or the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple or the depiction of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.
VISIBLY DISPLAYED
The material or performance is visible on a billboard, viewing screen, marquee, newsstand, display rack, window, showcase, display case or other similar display area that is visible from any part of the premises where a minor is or may be allowed or permitted or invited as part of the general public or otherwise or that is visible from a public street, sidewalk, park, alley, residence, playground, school or other place to which minors have unrestrained and a reasonably anticipated access and presence.

§ 158-6 Prohibited acts.

A person is guilty under this Article of displaying harmful matter to minors when, having control or supervision of any business or commercial establishment or premises, with knowledge of the content and character of the material involved, he intentionally or recklessly does any of the following:
A. 
Visibly displays, exhibits or otherwise exposes to view in that part of the premises or immediately adjacent thereto where a minor is or may be allowed, permitted or invited, as part of the general public or otherwise, all or any part of any material which is either of the following:
(1) 
Obscene as to minors, when taken as a whole; or
(2) 
Contains on its cover, package, wrapping or within the advertisement therefor depictions or photographs of sexually explicit nudity or a prohibited sexual act.
B. 
Hires, employs or otherwise places, supervises, controls or allows in any business or commercial establishment or other place any minor under circumstances which would cause, lead or allow such minor to engage in the business or activity of promoting or otherwise handling such material.

§ 158-7 Penalties for offenses.

Violation of this Article shall be punished by a fine of $100 for each separate item of material which is displayed in violation of this Article. Each day that any violations of this Article occur or continue to occur shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as a separate violation or violations.