Monday, February 8, 2010

Jones Files Legislation to Provide Greater Protection to Minors

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. today announced his intention to file legislation that would provide greater protection to minors.

An Act to Prohibit the Electronic Transmission of Harmful Material to Minors was drafted in response to the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling last Friday. The SJC ruled in favor of a child predator who had been sending sexually explicit content through online communications.

The legislation would expand the statute by prohibiting the dissemination of harmful material to a minor via instant messaging or other online communications.

Representative Jones said he was particularly concerned that the state’s statute under which the defendant was convicted had not been updated to reflect society’s current electronic age.

After an examination of the statute and its legislative history, the Court stated that the Legislature must take action if it wanted to ensure that our children are protected from predators seeking to electronically disseminate obscene material to minors.

“It is necessary that the Legislature act quickly on this legislation as there is a dangerous loophole that is preventing our judicial system from properly punishing sexual predators,” said Representative Jones who plans to file the legislation on Tuesday. “Our children are among our state’s most vulnerable population and we must act swiftly to ensure their safety and well-being.”

Representative Jones invited his colleagues to co-sponsor the legislation. So far, more than a dozen legislators have signed on to the bill.