This bill would broaden the coverage of current laws related to the sexual exploitation of minors related to the production of child pornography, effectively allowing the government pursue cases that otherwise wouldn’t have been prosecutable. It closes a loophole created by a federal appeals court decision in U.S. v. Palomino-Coronado that allowed a defendant to escape conviction for sexually abusing a child and taking pictures of the act because he didn’t engage in sexual activity with the victim in order to take the pictures, so there was no intent to produce the child pornography.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
Committee on the Judiciary
- senate Committees
- The house Passed May 25th, 2017Roll Call Vote 368 Yea / 51 Nay
Committee on the JudiciaryCrime, Terrorism and Homeland SecurityIntroducedMarch 28th, 2017
- house Committees
What is House Bill H.R. 1761?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 1761
In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) introduced this bill to close the loophole in existing law that was created by a federal appeals court ruling in U.S. v. Palomino-Coronado that reversed the conviction of a child sexual assault because the court couldn’t find intent to produce child pornography:
“When I arrived to Congress, I was surprised to learn of a court-created loophole in our federal law that allows a predator to ADMIT to sexually assaulting a child in many circumstances and still evade punishment. Today, I filed legislation to fix that. The Protection Against Child Exploitation Act will ensure any future perpetrators receive the justice they so rightly deserve.”
Several Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee expressed their opposition to this bill on the grounds that it would subject more convicts to mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years, including potentially “sexting” teenagers:
“Although well-intentioned, the bill’s resulting expansion of section 2251 would subject more individuals, including young people prosecuted for “sexting,” to substantial mandatory minimum prison sentences. We have long-opposed the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences because they are unjust, cause prison overcrowding, waste taxpayer money, and defy common sense.”
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: JobsForFelonsHub via Flickr / Creative Commons)