The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (Pen. Code 11164) requires psychotherapists and other similar professionals to report their patients to the police or child welfare agencies when the patients disclose that they have accessed child pornography through electronic or digital media.  This decision upholds the constitutionality of the requirement.  Neither the psychotherapist-patient privilege nor the state constitutional right of privacy is absolute.  Here, there is little legitimate interest in privacy since accessing child pornography is illegal under state and federal law.  The state’s interests in protecting minors from sexual assault outweigh that whatever minimal privacy interests the patients retain.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 2 (Boren, P.J.); January 9, 2017; 2017 WL 74773