Senate Passes Bill to Prevent Child Pornography and Exploitation

ATLANTA (March 28, 2013) – The Senate passed House Bill 156 by a vote of 49 to 0. Sponsored by Sen. Hunter Hill (R-Smyrna), this bill strengthens Georgia’s laws against child pornography and exploitation.

“House Bill 156 amends our child pornography statutes to better protect children,” said Sen. Hill. “It also protects children from being unjustly prosecuted for adolescent behavior.”

Under this legislation, it is illegal to entice, seduce or lure a child into sexual misconduct or behavior through cellular devices or the internet.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation approached the General Assembly about loopholes in Georgia’s electronic pornography laws and provided the initial framework for HB 156.

If signed into law, House Bill 156 would fix these loopholes by making texting or emailing explicit photographs from one consenting minor to another consenting minor a misdemeanor. However, if an adult solicits a child to engage in sexual misconduct, it will be considered a felony offense.

In addition, this bill makes it unlawful for an adult to contact the parents or custodian of a child in order to engage in sexual exploitation.

House Bill 156 will now travel to the House of Representatives for final approval.

For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2013

For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist