One of the strongest tools law enforcement officials in New York State use to prosecute pedophiles was snatched away from them this week when a state appeals court ruled that sending children sexually explicit e-mails is illegal only if the e-mails include photographs, Newsday reports. Jeffrey Koslow, a Manhattan lawyer who was convicted of attempted disseminating indecent material to a minor, appealed his case argued successfully that his e-mails did not “depict” sexual conduct because they contained only words, not pictures.
Officials who work to lure pedophiles on the Internet by pretending to be children will now have to convince those pedophiles to e-mail them sexually explicit photographs in order to secure a felony conviction. “Unfortunately, there is a whole world of criminals out there who use words to lure children into meeting with them,” said Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice. “To say that those words are not enough is incredibly disturbing.” About 90 percent of suspected pedophiles do not mail photos.