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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 15, 2013 03:40 PM
From: Representative Marcy Toepel
To: All House members
Subject: Establishing a Sentencing Enhancement for the Offense of Child Pornography
The Task Force on Child Protection, which was established last session pursuant to House Resolution 522, recommended that there be a sentencing enhancement for the offense of child pornography, 18 Pa.C.S. 6312. The task force stated in its November 2012 report that those who committed the offense of child pornography received a wide variety of sentences, including probation, despite the egregious nature of the offense.

The Task Force on Child Protection characterized such abuse as “horrific.” A child forced to commit sexual acts on film suffers the additional trauma of physical evidence of the assault being frozen in time and in perpetuity via images that are passed from pedophile to pedophile.

The Task Force recommended that the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing provide for a sentencing enhancement for this crime, based upon the age of the child victimized, the number of images possessed, and the nature and character of the abuse.

Accordingly, my legislation would fulfill the recommendation of the task force by directing that the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing provide for such a sentencing enhancement.

Introduced as HB321