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MADISON - Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen issued the following statement regarding the unanimous approval by the State Assembly of Assembly Bill 769, a proposal developed by his office:
I applaud the Assembly for passing AB 769, a bill that strengthens the criminal code regarding two child sex crimes and creates a safeguard against further dissemination of child pornography. I would especially like to thank Representative Tony Staskunas and Senator Julie Lassa for sponsoring the bill.
AB 769 clarifies existing law to clearly allow prosecutors to seek maximum penalties for the crimes of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and causing a child to view or listen to sexual activity when the "victim" is an undercover agent posing as a child. Recognizing that the dissemination of child pornography leads to further victimization of children, this bill also amends the criminal discovery statute to generally allow the defense to inspect such images only in a location maintained by the court or a law enforcement agency. This provision is modeled after a similar federal rule adopted in 2006. While increasing the security of these images, the bill maintains a defendant's opportunity to fully present a defense to criminal charges.
I look forward to passage of AB 769 by the State Senate before the 2009-2010 Session ends next week.
End of Statement
The Wisconsin Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is led by the Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation. DOJ-DCI investigates Internet Crimes Against Children cases, provides assistance to law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in these cases (for example, by providing computer forensic services), provides training to law enforcement and prosecutors, provides community training on issues relating to Internet safety, and coordinates statewide and regional collaboration and information sharing relating to Internet Crimes Against Children.
There are 137 local law enforcement agencies that are partners to the Department of Justice's ICAC Task Force. Earlier this week, Van Hollen announced that 12 Boys & Girls Clubs in Wisconsin have also become affiliated with the program, and will assist in efforts to educate kids about Internet safety.
For more information about the bill, see Attorney General Van Hollen's written testimony available at: