Cornyn, Ab­bott cel­e­brate new child pro­tec­tion law

Pres­i­dent signs law to ex­tend task force fund­ing, author­ity for U.S. mar­shals.

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Chris Tom­lin­son

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and Texas At­tor­ney Gen­eral Greg Ab­bott cel­e­brated a new fed­eral law to fight child pornog­ra­phy, sex­ual preda­tors and hu­man traf­fick­ing that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama signed Fri­day.

Cornyn, of Texas, spon­sored the Child Pro­tec­tion Act, which in­creases the penal­ties for child pornog­ra­phy, pro­tects child wit­nesses and gives U.S. mar­shals new author­ity to ob­tain time-sen­si­tive doc­u­ments. The law also ex­tends fed­eral fund­ing for re­gional In­ter­net task forces that fo­cus on cy­ber-crimes.

“It also al­lows the task forces to pri­or­i­tize cases where there is strong ev­i­dence that the sus­pect has en­gaged in hu­man traf­fick­ing for the ac­tual pro­duc­tion of child pornog­ra­phy,” Cornyn said. “I’m glad to see the pres­i­dent quickly signed this mea­sure into law to bring greater jus­tice and pro­tec­tion to vic­tims and al­low law en­force­ment to take im­me­di­ate steps to stop child preda­tors.”

Sen. Richard Blu­men­thal, D-Conn., co-spon­sored the mea­sure. U.S. Rep. La­mar Smith, R-San An­to­nio, and Demo­cratic Rep. Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz of Florida spon­sored it in the House.

Cornyn said the pres­i­dent’s sig­na­ture showed that com­mon sense still trumps par­ti­san­ship.

“Bi­par­ti­san­ship is liv­ing and thriv­ing on many is­sues like this, where I think we can all agree this is not a con­tro­ver­sial mat­ter un­less you hap­pen to be a child pornog­ra­pher,” he said.

Ab­bott said the law will in­crease the ef­fec­tive­ness of his Cy­ber-Crimes Unit, a na­tional leader in find­ing and pros­e­cut­ing child preda­tors on the In­ter­net. Since 2003, the unit has ar­rested 304 sus­pects for us­ing child pornog­ra­phy and the Fugi­tive Unit has ar­rested 1,247 sex of­fend­ers for vi­o­lat­ing pa­role.

“Preda­tors that are pros­e­cuted fed­er­ally are now go­ing to face tougher sen­tences,” Ab­bott said.

The At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice op­er­ates the In­ter­net Crimes Against Chil­dren Task Force for 134 coun­ties in south­ern Texas.

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