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ACT NO. 41


Crimes; Unlawfully Sheltering or Aiding a Runaway Child;

Disseminating Indecent Material to a Minor

This act makes it a crime to knowingly shelter a runaway child, to intentionally help a child to run away from home, or to harbor a runaway child with the intent of committing a criminal act involving the child or with the intent of enticing or forcing the child to commit a criminal act. No crime is committed, however, if the person acted reasonably and in good faith to protect the child from imminent physical, mental or emotional harm.

The act also provides law enforcement officers with the authority to return runaway children to their parents.

With respect to the crime of disseminating indecent material to minors, the act provides that, if the dissemination occurs outside the presence of a minor, a person cannot be charged with the crime without having actual knowledge that the recipient is a minor. No such knowledge is required when the dissemination occurs in the presence of a minor.

Effective date: July 1, 2001.