OLYMPIA – Two of Attorney General Rob McKenna’s public safety bills will receive public hearings Tuesday.
One proposed law would require longer sentences for repeat, felony domestic abusers. HB 2427 is sponsored by Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, and co-sponsored by Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, among others.
The other bill heard Tuesday gives law-enforcement an additional tool to prosecute those who intentionally access child pornography.
“Our bill is an attack on an illegal industry that profits from reprehensible pictures and videos of children being sexually assaulted,” Rep. Al O’Brien, D-Seattle, sponsor of HB 2424 and a former police sergeant, said in a news conference Monday. “Scientific research shows that most child pornographers aspire to victimize actual children or have already done so.”
A study commissioned by the U.S. Congress and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children shows that most of those arrested for possessing child pornography had images of children who had not yet reached puberty. In fact, 58 percent of those images were of children under 5, including infants.
“This bill targets those whom the courts can demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt have purposely and repeatedly accessed images of sex crimes committed against young children,” said Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, who is co-sponsoring the House version of the bill.
Both bills will be heard by the House Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Committee at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12. The hearing will take place in the John L. O’Brien Building, Hearing Room E. The John L. O’Brien Building is adjacent to the Legislative Building in Olympia.
Companion bills have also been introduced in the Senate.
LINKS: AGO 2010 Legislation
Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725