House Approves Bill To Protect Children

HOUSE REPUBLICAN News:

SANTA FE – On a bipartisan 63 to 1 vote, the House of Representatives approved legislation Monday night sponsored by Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R-Valencia) to protect New Mexico’s children from receiving pornographic images from sexual predators.

House Bill 71 would clarify language in the current statute relating to criminal sexual communication with a child to include all pornographic images. Currently, individuals can only be charged with a crime if they send pornographic pictures of their bodies. Fajardo’s bill would make it a fourth-degree felony to send or provide any pornographic image to a child, regardless of whose body is depicted in the image. The law would apply to individuals who are at least four years older than the child victim.

“Sexual predators often use pornographic images to entice children,” Fajardo said. “We must close this loophole to protect our children from these dangerous predators. This is the fourth year I have carried this legislation, and I am hopeful we’ll finally get this bill to Gov. Martinez’s desk this year.”

The House of Representatives unanimously passed her bill each of the previous three years, but the Senate failed to bring any of them to a floor vote.

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