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Texas Lawmakers Sponsor New Anti-Child Porn, Human Trafficking Law
A federal law designed to fight child pornography, sexual predators and human trafficking is now on the books.
Two Texas lawmakers, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, co-sponsored the bipartisan Child Protection Act of 2012. President Obama signed it into law Friday.
"We need to provide law enforcement with every tool they need to crack down on the most vile criminals - child sex predators and traffickers - and protect the innocent young people who fall victim to these heinous crimes," said Sen. Cornyn. "I'm pleased to say this was the product of bipartisan work and wide support from both sides of the aisle in Congress.
The law will:
- Increase the maximum penalties for the possession of child pornography depicting a minor under 12 from 10 to 20 years.
- Require federal judges to issue a protective order for child witnesses who are harassed or intimidated by attorneys for their abuser or trafficker.
- Authorize the U.S. Marshals service to issue administrative subpoenas to obtain time-sensitive documents in their investigation of fugitive sex offenders.
- Reauthorize funds for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces, which train executive and judicial officials how to deal with cases of child sexual abuse.
“The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reports that Texas has the second largest number of registered sex offenders nationwide,” Rep. Smith said. “We must do more to protect the most innocent among us-our children.”