Rep. Kelly Fajardo
SANTA FE – The New Mexico House of Representatives has passed a bill to close a dangerous loophole that allows child predators, to send pictures of another person’s naked body to anyone younger than 16 years old, without criminal penalties.
“Democrats and Republicans in the House came together to close this dangerous loophole that allows sexual predators to get off the hook,” said Rep. Kelly Fajardo, the bill’s sponsor. “Now it is time for the Senate to act.”
Currently, “predators” who send a picture of “their own” genitalia to a child are punished with a fourth-degree felony. This bill would close the loophole and make it a fourth-degree felony “for anyone” to send obscene pictures of “any person” to children. It is common for child predators to send inappropriate pictures to solicit children. And more often than not, predators send inappropriate photos of other people — allowing them to get away without being charged with a sexual offense.
In 2014, this bill was introduced and received unanimous support from the House and also passed unanimously through the Senate Public Affairs Committee. Unfortunately, there was not enough time left in the legislative session for the Senate to vote.