Contact: Representative Ron Tusler (608) 266-5831
Senator André Jacque (608) 266-3512
Bill Closes Loophole Exploiting Children Online
Madison – Today, Governor Evers signed Senate Bill 68, authored by Representative Ron Tusler (R – Harrison) and Senator André Jacque (R – De Pere), into law as 2019 Act 16. The bill defines “lewd exhibition of intimate parts” to include child erotica as child pornography.
“Child predators are exploiting a loophole in our definition of child pornography and getting away with exploiting children without any penalty at all,” said Senator Jacque. “At the request of police and prosecutors, we’re closing the loophole to help keep all Wisconsin children safe.”
“By strengthening the language in our child pornography law, we will ensure law enforcement has the tools they need to track down and investigate these monstrous predators and bring them to justice,” said Rep. Tusler.
Under prior law, a child must be engaged in sexually explicit conduct for the medium to be considered child pornography. Act 16 codifies language from a State Supreme Court decision, State v. Petrone, making clear that child erotica is considered child pornography.
This change came at the request of local law enforcement upon seeing an upward trend in child erotica and will provide more clarity when conducting investigations. In 2017, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force made 537 arrests.
“As a parent of young children I know it can be difficult to talk about the issue of child exploitation, but it is extremely important that we do so. Talking to those on the front line, it is clear that this is a much needed fix,” Jacque said.
“I am happy this common sense, bipartisan legislation to protect our kids was signed into law,” Tusler said.