Cornyn, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Improve Investigations of Online Child Exploitation
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) yesterday introduced the Project Safe Childhood Act, which would make improvements to the investigation and prosecution of online child exploitation:
“The threats our children face online from unidentified predators are vicious and pervasive,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Our bill would improve the ability of federal prosecutors and law enforcement to go after online child predators with new technology and protect vulnerable children from this heinous crime.”
“We must do everything we can to protect our children from online exploitation and abuse,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “By modernizing the Project Safe Childhood program, our bipartisan legislation will ensure that law enforcement has the tools and resources it needs to rescue victims and prosecute those who commit these terrible crimes.”
“We must do all we can to ensure America’s next generation grows up safe from abuse and harm,” said Sen. Grassley. “This bill will harness the power of the federal government to go after the criminals who exploit our children and will make sure kids are protected.”
“Increasing collaboration between federal, state, and local law enforcement is critical to addressing the scourge of online child sexual exploitation,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “By modernizing the Project Safe Childhood initiative, our bipartisan legislation will hold predators accountable and provide victims with the care and protection they need. These crimes must be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Our children are our most precious and vulnerable members of society, and the Project Safe Childhood Act is a vital step toward keeping them safe from online predators,” said Sen. Blackburn. “This bill ensures that federal prosecutors and the DOJ can work with law enforcement and use new technology to rescue victims and quickly arrest offenders. By modernizing the system used for investigating child exploitation crimes, we can help protect more children.”
Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also cosponsored this legislation, and companion legislation was introduced yesterday in the House by Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25) and Wesley Hunt (TX-38).
Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The Project Safe Childhood Act would modernize the investigation and prosecution of online child exploitation crimes and would make improvements to how federal prosecutors and law enforcement work together and use new technology to go after predators. This bill would require federal prosecutors and the DOJ to coordinate with law enforcement and experts to develop training materials and strategies to identify and rescue child victims while quickly arresting offenders.
The legislation is endorsed by the National District Attorneys Association, National Association of Police Organizations, Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Fraternal Order of Police, Rights 4 Girls, National Children’s Alliance, and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.