Captain Jeff Mayberry, with Kentucky State Police, is praising state lawmakers for passing Senate Bill 106, which imposes a stricter penalty on sexual predators of children via the Internet.
Captain Mayberry: "Through the Internet you can talk to people in other states and sometimes other countries. With this legislation and legislation that has been introduced nationally that's going to put us in a better position to prosecute these offenders over state lines."
Senate Bill 106 will increase the penalty for an individual found guilty of using the Internet to solicit sex from children under 16 years of age from a misdemeanor to a Class D felony, which carries a one to five year prison sentence.
Mayberry: "The fact that this is now a Class D felony on the second subsequent offense we would be able to proceed with a persistent felony offender indictment or charge."
Senate Bill 106 also clarifies a previous prosecutorial loophole, making clear that it is a felony offense if the accused has unknowingly been communicating with a police officer posing as a child. Captain Mayberry says he doesn't feel the new legislation will cut down on the number of Internet sexual predator cases they see, but he hopes it helps fight the perpetrators once they are discovered.
Mayberry: "It's just a shame that people fashion the Internet and turn this resource into something as despicable as trying to solicit sex with children."