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Pavley bill on child pornography sentencing heads to governor

Posted: September 10, 2013 3:45 p.m.
Updated: September 10, 2013 3:45 p.m.

SACRAMENTO – The California State Senate gave final approval Tuesday to Senate Bill 145 by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), which would raise the maximum penalty for the most serious child pornography offenses. The bill, which was approved unanimously, will be sent to the governor.

California currently has the weakest child pornography sentencing laws in the nation. SB 145 would raise the maximum penalty for the worst offenders: those with huge collections of child pornography, those with images of children forced to endure sexual sadism or masochism, and those who use images to groom children to participate in this crime. The bill would raise the maximum sentence from three years to five years, but would reserve discretion for judges to issue shorter sentences for less serious offenders.

The bill is sponsored by Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten and strongly supported by the California District Attorneys Association.

“California needs to keep pace with the rest of the nation to protect children from exploitation,” Pavley said. “These images perpetuate the cycle of sexual abuse of children and fuel the market for sex trafficking and other crimes.”

“Internet pornography is one of the fastest growing crimes in America,” Pavley said. “The images of these sexually abused children can be sent around the world in a matter of seconds and ruin children’s lives.”

“This is an important bill that recognizes child pornography re-victimizes the weakest members of society – children who have suffered unspeakable sexual abuse,” Totten said. “We must increase punishment for this crime to deter people from using these images for their own sexual gratification.  I am grateful for Senator Pavley’s willingness to author this measure and for the Legislature's support.” 

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