Gov. Kemp signs new law to prosecute child sex offenders to the fullest extent

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 5:24 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A new law signed by Governor Brian Kemp on Monday will put more measures in place to prosecute child sex offenders to the fullest extent.

This law received support from democrats and republicans in the State House and Senate.

“They are attacking kids. They’re hitting them in vulnerable spots,” Rose Grant-Wiseman said.

Something at just about every young person’s finger tips, social media continues to be a place where predators can take advantage of children.

The House Bill 1188 makes laws that punish sex offenders much stronger. It’s something that the director at the Child Advocacy Center says is much needed.

The initiative by State Senator Jen Jordan makes it illegal for high-risk sex offenders to get social media information on someone under 16 or to use social media to pretend to be under 16 to trick a child into sexual activity.

The Executive Director of the Coastal Child Advocacy Center Rose Grant-Wiseman says predators use these tactics quite often.

“These kids don’t know who they’re talking to. They think it’s a friend, you know somebody who’s interested in the same things they are. They’re getting them to do things that are very inappropriate,” Grant-Wiseman said.

Most important to Grant-Wiseman, the bill says each act of child molestation will be a separate offense and makes each image or video of child pornography a separate offense.

“So for each thing that you have done or committed, that could be five years, that could be ten years, that could be fifteen. It could be a life sentence,” Grant-Wiseman said.

Some one who has thousands of images would have a stronger punishment then someone with a few making it much harder to get a slap on the wrist.

“It just depends on what you have done and I think that lets people know, “Okay we’re coming, we’re going to make sure tat you’re prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Grant-Wiseman said

Since images posted online often stay there forever, she hopes legislation like this will stop kids from feeling re-victimized,.

“They face depression, they face suicidal ideations. They go through all of these stages because of one photo or a bad mistake they made on social media,” Grant-Wiseman said

“Kids don’t know the laws but adults do,”

She says that makes the law vital.

“It’s very important that this law was put in effect. They need to be put in jail,” Grant-Wiseman said

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