Bills to protect children, families of sexual exploitation make their way to Gov. Carney

DELAWARE– In the First State, there’s some more bills making their way to Governor John Carney’s desk, some of those are included in the SAFE Legislation package, which will provide better protection for students against child predators and victims of sexual exploitation.

Senator Nicole Poore, who represents the 12th district and is a Chair on the Bond Committee,  said she’d been advocating for the SAFE legislation package.
Sen. Poore said one of the bills that passed the Senate yesterday was House Bill 428. It will enhance existing protections for children who face sexual and physical abuse. She said there have been many conversations around child predators and when she started to do research she learned Delaware had multiple loopholes; and adults who traffic in these sexually exploitative images of children are savvy and know how to avoid prosecution.

“Seeing the crimes that have been committed but not to the point where someone would actually be arrested or a misdemeanor, something that would alert the general public to say somethings not right here,” Sen. Poore said.

Specifically, HB 428 will expand Delawares existing sexual exploitation laws that criminalize child pornography to include the creation, possession, and distribution of pictures of children partially nude and that are intended for sexual pleasure. Where the code stands now, if you’re not showing the genitals, if you’re covering them but the intent is there, no legal action can be taken. But, if the legislation is signed by Governor John Carney that would change and it would be a Class D felony. “So, this particular piece of legislation allows the door to open for our police department, for them to have a tool in the tool box, for them to be able to say, hey posing and 8- year old and a 9-year-old in lingerie with their legs spread open is unacceptable.”

The bill will now make its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

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