Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. Offensive, Indecent, and Inhumane Conduct


45-8-201. Obscenity. (1) A person commits the offense of obscenity when, with knowledge of the obscene nature of the material, the person purposely or knowingly:

(a) sells, delivers, or provides or offers or agrees to sell, deliver, or provide any obscene writing, picture, record, or other representation or embodiment of the obscene to anyone under 18 years of age;

(b) presents or directs an obscene play, dance, or other performance, or participates in that portion of the performance that makes it obscene, to anyone under 18 years of age;

(c) publishes, exhibits, or otherwise makes available anything obscene to anyone under 18 years of age;

(d) performs an obscene act or otherwise presents an obscene exhibition of the person's body to anyone under 18 years of age;

(e) creates, buys, procures, or possesses obscene matter or material with the purpose to disseminate it to anyone under 18 years of age; or

(f) advertises or otherwise promotes the sale of obscene material or materials represented or held out by the person to be obscene.

(2) A thing is obscene if:

(a) (i) it is a representation or description of perverted ultimate sexual acts, actual or simulated;

(ii) it is a patently offensive representation or description of normal ultimate sexual acts, actual or simulated; or

(iii) it is a patently offensive representation or description of masturbation, excretory functions, or lewd exhibition of the genitals; and

(b) taken as a whole the material:

(i) applying contemporary community standards, appeals to the prurient interest in sex;

(ii) portrays conduct described in subsection (2)(a)(i), (2)(a)(ii), or (2)(a)(iii) in a patently offensive way; and

(iii) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

(3) In any prosecution for an offense under this section, evidence is admissible to show:

(a) the predominant appeal of the material and what effect, if any, it would probably have on the behavior of people;

(b) the artistic, literary, scientific, educational, or other merits of the material;

(c) the degree of public acceptance of the material in the community;

(d) the appeal to prurient interest or absence of that appeal in advertising or other promotion of the material; or

(e) the purpose of the author, creator, publisher, or disseminator.

(4) A person convicted of obscenity shall be fined at least $500 but not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both.

(5) Cities, towns, counties, or school districts may adopt ordinances, resolutions, or policies that are more restrictive as to obscenity than the provisions of this section.

History: En. 94-8-110 by Sec. 1, Ch. 513, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 407, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 94-8-110; amd. Sec. 1, I.M. 79, app. Nov. 7, 1978; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 571, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 1702, Ch. 56, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 449, L. 2023.