Rep. Johnson’s Protection Against Child Exploitation Act Unanimously Passes Committee
Washington D.C. – On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee passed Rep. Mike Johnson’s (LA-04) legislation, the Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act (H.R. 1761), by voice vote. Rep. Johnson introduced this bill on March 29, 2017.
Rep. Johnson released the following statement regarding committee passage of the bill:
“The Protection Against Child Exploitation Act is a common-sense step to better protect our children from depraved sexual predators. No government should permit a shameful, court-created loophole to allow a predator to admit to sexually assaulting a child and still evade punishment. I am very pleased the House Judiciary Committee voted overwhelmingly to advance my bill out of committee today and hope the full House will take it up swiftly to ensure these criminals receive the justice they so rightly deserve.”
Support for H.R. 1761
· National Fraternal Order of Police
· The National District Attorneys Association
· Major County Sheriffs of America
Rep. Johnson introduced this bill after a ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a conviction for a child sexual assault because the court determined the perpetrator lacked “intent” to record images of the assault on his phone. In the case, United States v. Palomino-Coronado, the defendant admitted to sexually abusing a child and memorializing the conduct, but escaped federal conviction because he lacked the requisite “purpose,” or specific intent, when he took the picture – a clear contradiction of Congress’ objective of protecting children and criminalizing the production of images of child sexual abuse. Rep. Johnson’s proposed legislation would close the loophole in existing law and help ensure depraved, destructive images of children produced in this horrifying manner are met with the appropriate punishment.