ANCHOR/REPORTER: Attorney General Rob McKenna, federal and state leaders are marking Safer Internet Day with a call to pass two laws that use the power of technology to protect kids and other victims of modern crimes. One bill aims to allow local authorities to prosecute those who look at child pornography on the Internet.
McKenna1-Step ahead [:17]
“Our state needs to stay a step ahead of those who prey on our kids. We know that many pedophiles consume child pornography. And we know that increasingly they’re smart enough not to download the images, not to print the images out, but rather simply to access the images online using a web site address.”
ANCHOR/REPORTER: McKenna says his proposal will land more child sex predators behind bars.
McKenna2-Convicted pedophiles [:27]
“Convicted pedophiles typically confess to interviewers and therapists -- not to prosecutors -- about 30 victims a piece, on average. And yet if they’re caught, they’re usually only convicted for one or two or a few instances of child abuse. Having this tool at our disposal will give us another way to put these guys behind bars sooner and for longer periods of time – even if they think they’re being clever by not printing out or downloading the images.”
ANCHOR/REPORTER: State Senator Val Stevens says that going after people who view child pornography is really about protecting victims.
Stevens-insidious crime [:08]
Sen. Val Stevens, R-Lake Stevens: “We don’t want to wait until there’s been a child that’s been victimized by this insidious crime to then be able to go after them. We want to get to them first.”
ANCHOR/REPORTER: State Representative Kirk Pearson says he’s motivated by his role as a parent.
Pearson-a father [:23]
Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe: “I’m a legislator but also I’m a father, first. And for me, the more information you get as a legislator, the more scared you are, knowing that there are predators out there that try to interface with you through the computer. I know if we pass this legislation it will save many lives from serious trauma in the future.”
ANCHOR/REPORTER: U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt joined McKenna to remind the public about the connection between child pornography and child victimization.
U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt: “These just aren’t pictures cases. These pictures are victims. And these folks that claim to be just collecting pictures, as the studies have shown, 80 percent or more actually have victims and hands-on crimes.”
ANCHOR/REPORTER: Also on Monday, Attorney General McKenna explained why he’s recommending that the state to create a digital crime lab.
McKenna3-digital devices [:27]
“We requested this bill because computers and other digital devices are increasingly vital links in criminal investigations. For example we know that child predators will use their cell phones to take pictures of children on playgrounds. We know that drug dealers will take photographs of their couriers and then send them by phone to their customers so that the customers will recognize the courier when the narcotics are delivered. We know, of course, that around the world terrorists have used cell phones to detonate bombs.”
ANCHOR/REPORTER: State Representative Al O’Brien is playing a key role in getting his fellow legislators to pass the bill.
O’Brien-digital shadows [:14]
Rep. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace: “This bill would start looking at a digital crime laboratory to help police officers from every corner of the state catch online sex predators and other criminals who hide behind digital shadows.”
ANCHOR/REPORTER: Safer Internet Day takes place every February to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology. Find out more about the Attorney General’s Internet Safety legislation at www.atg.wa.gov.
Dan Sytman, AGO Media Relations Manager, (360) 586-7842
Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725