Attorney Dmitry Gorin Discusses Controversial Child Pornography Law on National Public Radio

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Impact of A Controversial Child Porn Law and How It’s Affecting Therapists and Their Patients.

California Criminal Lawyers at Eisner Gorin LLP

Dmitry Gorin

Dmitry Gorin, a former sex crime prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and now a criminal defense lawyer discussed how if a therapist fails to report patients who view child porn, it could lead to a criminal fine or harsher punishments against them.Listen to interview here.

In late December 2019, the California Supreme Court revived the long-running debate when it reinstated a lawsuit over whether therapists must advise authorities when their patients report they are attracted to child pornography.

The lower courts had dismissed a lawsuit by therapists who made the argument that California's mandatory reporting law violated patient confidentiality and discouraged their patients from revealing they downloaded or viewed child pornography images or videos.

The Supreme Court was split 4-3 in favor of reinstating the case and sending it back to Superior Court, where the burden falls to the offices of the state Attorney General and Los Angeles County District Attorney to show that mandatory reporting protects children.

The majority noted the therapists argued their patients in the case don’t present a serious risk of sexual contact with children. However, they decided that patient privacy rights only apply to disclosures during voluntary therapy sessions, not to actual possession or viewing child pornography, which remains illegal and reportable.

The issue at hand is a 2014 law that modernized California's 40-year-old mandatory reporting requirement that included downloading, streaming and electronically accessing child porn.

For years, California law has required therapists to report patients admitting to developing, duplicating, printing or exchanging material that depicts an obscene act involving a child. They accepted the law and regarded it as an obligation to report anyone who distributes child pornography.

Dmitry Gorin is a partner at Eisner Gorin LLP, a Los Angeles-based law firm with an AV-Preeminent Rating (Top 5% U.S. Law Firm) specializing in criminal defense.

He is annually selected to Best U.S. Lawyers and aggressively represents clients against sex crimes, theft crimes, domestic violence, drug crimes, white collar crimes, and federal offenses.

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