Bill to Enhance Penalties for Child Pornography Becomes Law

HARRISBURG – Today Governor Tom Wolf signed a law to strengthen penalties against individuals charged with possession of child pornography, according to Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) who sponsored the measure.

“This law is aimed at increasing penalties and upgrading sentencing for the reprehensible crimes of child pornography and sexual abuse.  We are also setting up a task force to develop prevention and intervention steps, along the lines of the recent effort to improve juvenile justice system,” Baker said. “This action is a tribute to the late Senator David Arnold, who made an assault on child pornography his priority.”

Senate Bill 87 boosts penalties in all cases of child pornography in which the child is under the age of 10 or prepubescent. This includes violations of possessing, disseminating, photographing, videotaping or otherwise depicting the sexual abuse of children.

The law also provides for sentencing enhancements for those who sexually abuse children that are known to them and allows the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to develop guidelines for these crimes.

In addition, a special Task Force on Child Pornography will be created to review all laws pertaining to child ornography and to make recommendations to improve the investigation and prosecution of offenders to ensure the perpetrators of these crimes are held accountable.

In addition, the task force will create long-range plans and strategies for statewide community education about child sexual abuse and its prevention.

 

CONTACT:  Jen Wilson, jwilson@pasen.gov