Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved the Preventing Child Exploitation Act (H.R. 6847) by voice vote to fight child abuse and exploitation and bring perpetrators to justice. The bill, sponsored by Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Ala.), contains four Judiciary Committee bills that have previously been approved by the House of Representatives, sending them to the Senate in one package for a vote. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) applauded today’s vote to protect children in the statement below.
“Today, the House of Representatives has taken action once again to protect children and bring those who hurt or exploit them to justice. The Preventing Child Exploitation Act combats heinous crimes such as child pornography and global sex tourism, and contains tools to fight child abuse and make our communities safer. I thank Congresswoman Martha Roby for introducing this bill and call on the Senate to pass it without delay.”
Background: The Preventing Child Exploitation Act contains the following Judiciary Committee bills –
The Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act (H.R. 1761): Authored by Representative Mike Johnson (R-La.), the bill protects child pornography victims by remedying a federal court ruling in United States v. Palomino-Coronado. This decision allowed a defendant to walk free from production of child pornography charges, despite photographic evidence that he had engaged in sexual abuse of a seven-year-old child, because the court found that he lacked the specific intent to produce child pornography prior to abusing the child. To address this loophole in the law, the Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act adds additional bases of liability to the crime of child pornography production to prevent this heinous crime and bring criminals to justice.
The Global Child Protection Act (H.R. 1862): Authored by Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.), the legislation combats global sex tourism by closing loopholes that allow child predators to go unpunished for their abuse of children overseas. Specifically, the bill expands the conduct covered for child sexual exploitation cases that involve abuse occurring abroad to include sexual contact. It also broadens the offenses covered in the recidivist enhancement provisions in current law to protect the youngest of child victims.
The Strengthening Children’s Safety Act (H.R. 1842): Authored by Representative John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), this bill makes communities safer by enhancing penalties for sex offenders who fail to register in the national sex offender registry and then commit a crime of violence. It also ensures enhanced penalties for child exploitation crimes apply equally to all dangerous sex offenders by assuring those convicted of certain sex offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice are subject to the enhanced penalties applicable to recidivists under current law.
The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1188): This bill, authored by Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), reauthorizes the two primary programs of the Adam Walsh Act—the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act and the Sex Offender Management Assistance Program—for five years and makes targeted changes to make the system more efficient and just. These programs help prevent child abuse by ensuring the public has access to information on known sex offenders who may live in their neighborhoods.