New Jersey's 40th Legislative District

Senator Kevin O'Toole

Senator Kevin O'Toole

O’Toole Urges Stronger State Child Porn Penalties In Light of Today’s Exposé

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Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) called for immediate upgrades to child pornography criminal penalties, in light of today’s exposé by the Star-Ledger depicting a rapid proliferation of child pornography.

“As a parent and public servant charged with protecting children and families, I am utterly repulsed by the expanding lengths predators will go to get their fixes by destroying vulnerable lives,” O’Toole said. “Our communities must be protected from the disgusting impulses of the most disturbing criminals, and that starts with the elimination of early release for those convicted of producing, sharing, storing and enabling the destruction of childhood innocence.”

Senator O’Toole will introduce legislation that adds child pornography crimes to the “No Early Release Act,” meaning a convict would have to serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence to be eligible for release. O’Toole’s bill will upgrade the state’s child pornography laws, making it a first-degree crime for anyone to cause or permit a child to engage in child pornography, or to photograph or film a child under those circumstances. His measure will also upgrade possession or viewing of child pornography from a fourth- to a third-degree crime.

The Star-Ledger’s Jason Grant reported that images of child pornography and sexual abuse are “explosively” multiplying across the internet, with law enforcement officers sending 55 percent more images and videos (more than 22 million) to a national database in 2011. Grant reported that 85 percent of men arrested for the possession and/or distribution of child pornography have also committed a hands-on offense against a child, and that offenders usually have ties to their victims, as parents, guardians, relatives or friends.

“Many factors often cause this sick and incomprehensible behavior that is so difficult to read about, let alone experience,” O’Toole said. “A big part of protecting children and families is making sure offenders face and pay the ultimate price and do not repeat such heinous acts.”

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