Senate Bill 129 was the first bill that I filed this legislative session because it helps protect our children from sexual predators. I filed the bill in honor of Caleb Diehl from Nocona, who was reported missing on April 1, 2015. After his disappearance, an investigation uncovered that Caleb was abused by his part-time employer. Unfortunately, this was not the first-time allegations were made against Caleb’s abuser for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Eventually, the State brought Caleb’s abuser to justice, but sadly Caleb is still missing.
Our state has not updated the child pornography laws since 1989 – that’s 34 years! Under current law, prosecutors can not charge an individual in possession of child pornography with a first-degree felony unless they have previously been convicted two or more times. If signed into law, Senate Bill 129 will upgrade the State’s outdated child pornography laws to reflect current technologies and criminal trends by better accounting for the use of computers in the act of the crime. It also will ensure that child predators can be charged with a first-degree felony without prior conviction. On Tuesday, Senate Bill 129 will be heard in the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice. I will be fighting to get this bill passed because it’s about time Texas’s child pornography laws are updated so that we can better protect the most vulnerable in our society – our children.
For those who have questions about the bills I have filed and am supporting this legislative session, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and my office – my door is always open!
Read the full bill HERE