Kansas Bill Mandates Hefty Damages to Crush Child Porn

Kansas lawmakers are considering an innovative way to fight child pornography that has begun catching on in several state legislatures.

A new bill introduced in the state Senate Judiciary Committee last month would unleash lawyers on the producers, promoters, and consumers of child pornography and empower them to collect hefty damages on behalf of victims.

Kansas’ Senate Bill 549 would allow victims to sue each of their offenders for at least $150,000 in damages until they turn 21, or within three years after the completion of a criminal case.

The proposed law would also prohibit defendants from using as a credible defense the claims that they neither knew the victim nor committed the depicted child’s sexual abuse.

The Associated Press reports that the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s office and the Kansas Peace Officers’ Association support the law on the basis that the heavy financial penalties would help dissuade people from engaging in both the supply and demand for child pornography.

The Kansas Attorney General’s office supports the concept, although they wish to make sure law enforcement personnel would not be inadvertently targeted for gathering evidence in child porn cases, according to AP.

Missouri is also considering a bill along lines similar to Kansas’ measure to help crack down on child pornography. That law also provides for the victims of child pornography – under 14 years old at the time of the crime – to receive a minimum of $150,000 in damages, plus court costs, against anyone who is found guilty of producing, peddling, or possessing their images.

Florida was the first state to pave the way for trying this new path of litigating child-pornography out of existence. The Exploited Children’s Rights Act, was the first such law that empowered victims of child pornography with the ability to sue the perpetrators and purveyors of the child pornography, as well as its customers, for no less than $150,000 per incident. That law took effect October 1, 2008.

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  • http://www.vatican.va Michael

    What does this sentence mean?

    “The Kansas Attorney General’s office supports the concept, although they wish to make sure law enforcement personnel would not be inadvertently targeted for gathering evidence in child porn cases, according to AP.”

  • http://arkanabar.blogspot.com Arkanabar Ilarsadin

    If a prosecutor is going to prove that Producer X used child Y in child pornography, then the prosecutor must have the pornographic material featuring child Y created by producer X.

    Without an exception, child Y might sue the prosecutor for possessing pornographic images of him or her.

    The exception should ONLY apply to material obtained and kept AS EVIDENCE. After all, child porn users include even prosecutors, law enforcement, and judges at times.

  • http://www.vatican.va Michael

    I don’t live in KS but it seems that this should already be covered by statute or case law regarding “qualified immunity” or “partial immunity” for law enforcement officers or public officers in exercise of their duties. No?

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