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Legislation to Protect Kids from Online Predators Passes Assembly Criminal Justice Committee


MADISON - Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen issued the following statement regarding the passage of Assembly Bill 769 in the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice:


I applaud the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice for the passage of Assembly Bill 769, a bill that would modify the crimes against children code with respect to the crimes of use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime and causing a child to view or listen to sexual activity.  The effect of the changes would clarify or change existing law to allow prosecutors to seek maximum penalties for these crimes in cases than arise from undercover investigations.  I would especially like to thank Representative Tony Staskunas and Senator Julie Lassa for authoring this piece of legislation.


In addition, Assembly Bill 769 also updates and clarifies criminal discovery rules as they relate to the control of images or video depicting child pornography.  Recognizing that the dissemination of child pornography leads to the further victimization of children, this bill amends the criminal discovery statute to specifically address the treatment of child pornography images and video in an effort to prevent inadvertent or intentional reproduction and further dissemination of the contraband.  The bill is modeled after a similar federal rule adopted in 2006 by the United States Congress.  While increasing the security of these images, the bill maintains a defendants opportunity to fully present a defense to criminal charges.


I look forward to passage by the Wisconsin State Assembly.