Judge Turns Back Challenge To Child Porn Laws

A judge has ruled a state law that makes it illegal to view pornographic images of 17-year-olds is constitutional.

McLean County Circuit Judge Robert Frietag made the ruling Thursday in the case against a former Project Oz counselor. Frank McSwain Jr. faces charges of possession of child pornography and criminal sexual assault of a victim under the age of 18.

Defense lawyer Harvey Welch argued Thursday that state law punishes a person for possessing images of conduct that is legal in Illinois. He said the age of consent for sexual activity is 17 in Illinois. He says that makes the pornography law irrational.

Frietag admitted that the defense raised an interesting issue but he concluded that trial courts must presume that the law is constitutional.

A March 9 trial is scheduled for McSwain on the child pornography charge.

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