ARS Code 13-3553 Interpretation

In State v. Hazlett, 205 Ariz. 523, 73 P.3d 1258 (App. 2003), the Court considered the constitutionality of a statute with language regarding sexual exploitation of a minor under A.R.S. 13-3553 (Supp. 2002). Hazlett, 205 Ariz. at 525,1, 73 P.3d at 1260. In holding the statute was not unconstitutionally overbroad, the Court explained the word "minor" in the statute referred to an "actual child." Id. at 528,12, 73 P.3d at 1263. Section 13-3553 simply uses the term "minor," which is further statutorily defined as a human being who was "under the age of eighteen years of age at a time the visual depiction was created, adapted or modified." This definition, by describing "minor" in the past tense, evidences a clear intent that the minor be an actual living human being in that it implies the subject has the ability to age, i.e., become older through the passage of time. Fictitious persons do not possess this quality. Id. at 527,11, 73 P.3d at 1262.