Sen. Saland's Bill To Increase Penalties For Child Pornographers Passes Senate

Stephen M. Saland

March 26, 2008

Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) today announced Senate passage of his bill to permit prosecution of Internet pedophiles in proportion to the scale and danger of their criminal activity.

Presently, child pornographers can be prosecuted for the same charge whether they promote one or many obscene images. Under one of the main provisions of S.1086A, penalties would be increased for those who possess child pornography, by creating a graded system for such offenses. Those who produce, direct or promote twenty-five (25) or more obscene performances involving a child less than seventeen years of age would have the charge upgraded from a Class D felony to a Class C felony. Additional provisions of the bill increase penalties for other child pornography offenses.

"No level of child pornography is harmless, however, the unintended consequence of a "one size fits all" statutory scheme lends itself to unwarranted leniency for child pornographers overall," said Senator Saland. "Those who would promote a high volume of child pornography should face charges commensurate with their crime and this bill does that. The Internet is a valuable tool but criminals find it very easy to misuse it to harm children. We have been making strides in our battle against pedophiles and pornographers. This bill takes it one step further so our children can use the Internet more safely and the courts will be able to impose more stringent sentences on those that would use the Internet to harm them."

The bill has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.