.

Child Porn Prevention Measure Heading to Senate

Sen. Kevin O'Toole: “New Jersey’s child pornography laws must better protect children and capture more predators.”

A bill crafted to deter child pornography and prevent repeat incidents is headed to the New Jersey Senate after its passage Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The bipartisan legislation provides law enforcement and prosecutors to charge per offense, seek mandatory jail terms and makes it easier to charge and convict for possession and distribution by establishing the use of child pornography file-sharing programs as a second-degree crime, according to a release from the bill's primary sponsor, Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic.) 

“There is a rapid proliferation of child pornography especially online, and so New Jersey’s child pornography laws must better protect children and capture more predators,” O’Toole said. "With this measure, law enforcement will be able to keep the most disturbing criminals behind bars longer, without parole or early release.”

The bill — S2493 — was co-sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem) and Sen. Donald Norcross (D-Camden and Gloucester). 

“There is no greater, more important task than protecting the safety and well-being of our children,” Sweeney said. “By increasing and revising the penalties for those who would seek to do physical and mental harm to kids, we are providing enhanced protections for children.”

"By revising the law so we are observing the federal standard, New Jersey is taking an important step forward in the protection of minors. These kinds of crimes are horrific as they are committed against our most vulnerable. We are ensuring that law enforcement has enhanced tools to prosecute these crimes which will better protect children against exploitation," said Norcross.

According to O'Toole, his office, in conjunction with the state Attorney General’s office, crafted the bill, which:

  • Broadens the coverage of child pornography laws to cover victims younger than 18 years of age; current law only covers those younger than 16 years of age.
  • Upgrades causing a child to engage in pornography from a second-degree crime to a first-degree crime.
  • Adds the crime of causing or engaging child pornography to the “No Early Release Act,” meaning a convict would have to serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence to be eligible for release.
  • Imposes a mandatory prison sentence for those convicted of distributing at least 25 images of child pornography; for a second or subsequent offense, it establishes an extended prison term (associated with first-degree penalties) with no chance of parole.
  • Upgrades the crime of possession to a third-degree crime, from a fourth-degree crime, and imposes a mandatory prison sentence; for a second or subsequent offense, it establishes an extended prison term (associated with second-degree penalties) with no chance of parole.
  • Makes peer-to-peer file sharing a distribution crime, as opposed to possession.
  • Imposes parole supervision for life for those convicted of production and distribution of child pornography; it forces them to disclose any online accounts and passwords.
  • Disallows a conviction for possessing child pornography from being expunged from an offender’s record, making all child pornography crimes are permanently on offenders’ records.

“State child pornography offenders face weak consequences, and are able to repeat abusing and profiting off of vulnerable children,” O’Toole said. “This bill makes New Jersey’s child pornography laws among the toughest in the country. I thank Attorney General Chiesa for being a leader in this initiative to protect New Jersey’s innocent children.”

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »