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MADISON - Attorney General Van Hollen appeared today before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing to testify in favor of a bill to strengthen laws to protect children from Internet sexual predators.
Authored by Senator Julie Lassa and Representative Tony Staskunas, developed in coordination with the Attorney General, Senate Bill 561 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 penalities for these crimes in cases that arise from under cover investigations.
Senate Bill 561 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 defendant's opportunity to fully present a defense to criminal charges.
A copy of the bill is available at: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2009/data/SB-561.pdf
A copy of Attorney General Van Hollen's written testimony can be found at: