Senate Approves Senator Arnold’s Bill to Enhance Penalties for Child Pornography

“Today, the Pennsylvania State Senate unanimously approved my legislation aimed at enhancing penalties for those charged with possession of child pornography and establishing a task force to continuously address child pornography moving forward,” said Senator David J. Arnold (R-48).

SB 1075 enhances the grade for child pornography offenses.  Specifically, a violation related to photographing, videotaping, depicting on a computer or filming sexual acts, would increase from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. A first offense violation related to disseminating photographs, videotapes, computer depictions and films would increase from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree.

Arnold’s legislation also establishes the Task Force on Child Pornography. This 21-member task force will develop guidance and tools for sexual abuse prevention and intervention mechanisms for supporting Pennsylvania child welfare services and the General Assembly in an effort to better protect the children of the Commonwealth. Additionally, the task force will create long-range plans and strategies for statewide community education about child sexual abuse and its prevention.

“The task force mirrors similar actions taken by 17 other states throughout the country. This diverse group of professionals and members of the community will be charged with the difficult task of developing solutions to a growing and pervasive problem within our society,” Arnold said.  “Far too often we turn on the television and see that another child has been exploited by an adult, yet again. This must end. My intention in creating this legislation is to deliver solutions to this ever-growing problem within our society using best practices, listening to survivors, and using the expertise of those working with this daily.” 

In the creation of this bipartisan legislation Arnold worked with several organizations that specialize in the area of child sexual abuse including the Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center (SARC), Pennsylvania Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (PARSOL), and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association (PDAA), among others.

“I am proud to have this legislation move forward and I am eager to see it pass the House,” Arnold said. 

CONTACT:   Greg Moreland | gmoreland@pasen.gov