HARRISBURG – Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) released the following statement after the Senate’s passage of legislation today that would strengthen penalties against individuals charged with possession of child pornography:
“The Senate took a major step today to further protect innocent children and ensure that criminals who view, send and receive images of child pornography feel the full weight of the law for their heinous acts. Society should never tolerate individuals who abuse positions of authority to victimize others, especially when that abuse involves children.”
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.
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.
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-Lebanon/Dauphin/York), who tragically passed away earlier this month.