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New Bill Proposes Harsher Penalties for Child-Porn Offenders

State Senator Kevin O'Toole drafts “No Early Release Act,” for child-pornography offenders.

New Jersey may soon be dishing out more severe penalties to child-pornography offenders, when State Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic) introduces a bill to the State Senate.

O'Toole is introducing the “No Early Release Act,” after reading a recent Star-Ledger exposé “depicting a rapid proliferation of child pornography,” he said.

According to the report, the FBI reviewed 14.2 million images depicting child-sex acts in 2010. In 2011, the same department, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, reviewed more than 22 million images and videos, showing an increase of 55 percent.

“Many factors often cause this sick and incomprehensible behavior that is so difficult to read about, let alone experience,” O’Toole wrote. “A big part of protecting children and families is making sure offenders face and pay the ultimate price and do not repeat such heinous acts.”

The “No Early Release Act” would require a convict to serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence to be eligible for release. The bill will also upgrade the state’s child pornography laws, making it a first-degree crime “for anyone to cause or permit a child to engage in child pornography, or to photograph or film a child under those circumstances.”

“As a parent and public servant charged with protecting children and families, I am utterly repulsed by the expanding lengths predators will go to get their fixes by destroying vulnerable lives,” said O’Toole.

“Our communities must be protected from the disgusting impulses of the most disturbing criminals, and that starts with the elimination of early release for those convicted of producing, sharing, storing and enabling the destruction of childhood innocence,” he said.

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