MONTGOMERY, Ala. – On Tuesday in the Alabama Senate, Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) passed legislation to protect children from online predators.
Under current law, it is illegal to disseminate or knowingly possess obscene material of persons less than seventeen years of age where monetary consideration is exchanged.
Ward’s proposal clarifies the existing law by removing the monetary consideration provision so that all sharing and possession of obscene material of minors is illegal.
“Minors are increasingly at risk on the internet, especially on social media sites like Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram,” Ward observed. “These sites and many others are a conduit for sexually explicit material of minors, and our goal here was to expand the Child Offender Act to clearly ban the online sharing of such heinous material.”
The possession of explicit material of minors with intent to disseminate is a Class B felony, punishable by up to twenty years in prison.
“I appreciate Senator Cam Ward’s leadership in sponsoring our bill, SB 179, and gaining its unanimous passage in the Senate,” said Attorney General Luther Strange. “As this legislation moves forward, I hope that the House will take swift action to protect children from exploitation by sex offenders.”
Senate Bill 179 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Republican Senator Cam Ward represents District 14 in the Alabama State Senate, which includes all or parts of Shelby, Bibb, Chilton, Hale, and Jefferson Counties. He serves as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.