Sexually explicit photos of adults that have been digitally altered to display the faces of children are not protected expressive speech under the First Amendment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled.

Defendant John C. Hotaling argued that his “morphing” of photos harmed no one and was meant solely to “record his mental fantasies.” He challenged his conviction on a single count of possession of child pornography by claiming the statute as applied was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.

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