HARRISBURG – The Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would strengthen penalties against individuals charged with possession of child pornography, according to Senator Stefano, who supported the legislation.
Senate Bill 87 would boost penalties in cases of child pornography in which the child is under the age of 10 or is prepubescent. This includes penalties for anyone who views, possesses, disseminates, photographs, videotapes or otherwise depicts these children engaging in sexual acts.
The bill also allows the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to develop sentencing enhancements for those who sexually abuse children that are known to them.
“This measure is a serious response to an enduring problem that is vile and despicable,” said Stefano. “We must take any necessary steps to stop the victimization of children, and I am hopeful that both the House of Representatives and the Governor will act swiftly so that this bill can become law.”
In addition, the bill would create a special Task Force on Child Pornography to review laws pertaining to child pornography and make recommendations to improve the investigation and prosecution of offenders to ensure the perpetrators of these crimes are held accountable.
In addition, the task force will recommend any necessary changes in state statutes, practices and policies relating to child pornography.
The bill was previously sponsored by the late Senator Dave Arnold (R-48), who tragically passed away earlier this month.
“My colleague, Dave Arnold, was a fierce advocate for securing justice for crime victims, especially those most at risk. This legislation is a testament to his character and the fine work he did throughout his career as a District Attorney and a Senator.”
CONTACT: Mark Fetzko (firstname.lastname@example.org)