Lawmakers to vote on child porn bill - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lawmakers to vote on child porn bill

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Investigators who hunt predators that produce, sell and possess child porn say 60,000 new images are uploaded to the web every month.

"Every video or picture is a crime scene and needs to be investigated," said Paul Jagosh, legislative adviser with PROTECT.

The national organization lobbies lawmakers around the country to fund Internet Crimes Against Children task forces. He was recently in Hawaii to urge state senators to pass a bill that would create a special fund for Hawaii's ICAC unit.

"Hawaii is actually taking a giant step in the right direction," Jagosh said.

Senate Bill 702 -- known as "Alicia's Law" -- would help Hawaii's task force add investigators and improve computer equipment. Right now there are only two investigators and one computer forensics expert to track and take down the estimated 2,000 computers in the state known to be viewing child porn.  Jagosh calls them just the "low-hanging fruit."

"That's not really going into what I call the 'undernet' of child sex trafficking, stuff that's on Backpage and Craigslist where people are selling kids," Jagosh said.

Recent cases remind Hawaii that child porn production and possession exists in paradise. In January a state official pleaded guilty to having child porn images on his computer. Last year, a Big Island man was sentenced to 20 years for producing child pornography.

"These investigations are extremely technical and very complex," Jagosh said.

Aileen Deese of Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii said children being sexually exploited exhibit warning signs like fear of certain adults, mood swings, and acting out in sexual ways with toys or objects.

"Use your parenting skills," she said. "Use protective factors in protecting your child. Don't wait until the risk factors when it's all too late."

Investigators warn that purveyors and consumers of child porn evade detection by bouncing their Internet Protocol addresses out of state.

"These guys are so smart," Jagosh said. "They'll trade child pornography on one site, and they'll know that law enforcement is catching on, and they'll move to another one, and they'll move to another one."

He said the good news is that when investigators lock in, 50 to 70 percent of the time the child being abused will be rescued.

"Once investigators start digging into this and start working cases, they're going to uncover the sex trafficking of children through these investigations," he said.

The full Senate is slated to vote on SB 702. If the measure passes it heads to the House.

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