Sen. Cornyn A.G. Abbott Highlight New Law to Protect Children Against Sexual Predators

width=301Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN Texas U.S. Sen. John Cornyn R-Texas today joined Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to highlight a new federal law to enhance federal state and local efforts to fight child pornography sexual predators and human trafficking. Im pleased to say this was the product of bipartisan work and wide support from both sides of the aisle in Congress and Im glad to see the President quickly signed this measure into law to bring greater justice and protection to victims and allow law enforcement to take immediate steps to stop child predators and traffickers in their tracks" said Sen. Cornyn. width=203Protecting Texas children from online predators and child pornographers is my top priority. Our goal is to make Texas a national leader said Abbott. The bipartisan Child Protection Act of 2012 sponsored by Cornyn and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) in the Senate and U.S. Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) in the House was signed into law today by President Obama at a White House signing ceremony.     There is simply no greater work in law enforcement than that of keeping children safe" said David Boatright Executive Director of the Texas Regional Office for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Chlidren. And there may not be a time in history when its been more difficult. As the world becomes increasingly mobile the threats to children are complex and often multi-jurisdictional" said Boatright. We need to provide law enforcement with every tool they need to crack down on the most vile criminals child sex predators and traffickers and protect the innocent young people who fall victim to these heinous crimes" said Cornyn. The Houses lead sponsor Texas Congressman Lamar Smith said:
Internet child pornography may be the fastest growing crime in America increasing an average of 150 per year. According to recent estimates there are as many as 100000 fugitive sex offenders in the U.S. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reports that Texas has the second largest number of registered sex offenders nationwide. We must do more to protect the most innocent among usour children" said Smith Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
I introduced the Child Protection Act to combat crimes against our children. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent and today the President signed it into law. This bipartisan bill increases width=230penalties for child pornography offenses that involve young children and strengthens protections for child witnesses and victims added Smith. At a time when Washington is known for partisanship it is reassuring to see bipartisan legislation enacted.  When it comes to protecting our children there are no Republicans and no Democrats only concerned citizens." Protecting Texas children from online predators and child pornographers is my top priority. With predators increasingly utilizing technology to prey upon children it is critically important for law enforcement to gain new tools in our battle to protect Texas children. Thanks to Senator Cornyn that battle got a little easier when the President signed the Child Protection Act today" said Abbott. Background: Currently the maximum prison term for the possession of child pornography depicting minors 18 years of age and younger is 10 years. The Child Protection Act of 2012 makes the maximum prison term 20 years for the possession of child pornography depicting minors 12 years and younger thereby creating a new stiffer penalty for the possession of child pornography depicting the most vulnerable victims of this crime. In addition the Child Protection Act of 2012 will require federal courts to issue protective orders for child witnesses who are the target of intimidation or harassment ensuring that child width=253victims of exploitation and human trafficking have their day in court. This new law also makes it easier for the U.S. Marshals Service to apprehend fugitive sex offenders by authorizing them to obtain administrative subpoenas when investigating these cases. Finally this law reauthorizes funds for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces which train executive and judicial officials how to deal with cases of child sexual abuse. Included in The Child Protection Act of 2012 are several important anti-human trafficking provisions authored by Sen. Cornyn and originally included in the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2011 legislation introduced by Sens. Cornyn and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). These measures will:
  • Increase the statutory maximum penalties for the possession of child pornography depicting a minor under 12 from 10 to 20 years;
  • Require federal judges to issue a protective order for child witnesses who are harassed or intimidated by attorneys for their abuser or trafficker; and
  • Authorize the U.S. Marshals service to issue administrative subpoenas to obtain time-sensitive documents in their investigation of fugitive sex offenders.
width=108Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance Judiciary Armed Services and Budget Committees and is the top Republican on the Judiciary Committees Immigration Refugees & Border Security subcommittee. He previously served as Texas Attorney General Texas Supreme Court Justice and Bexar County District Judge.  
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