Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 6, 2006
Senate Passes "Safe Net Act" to Protect Children
Protecting Oklahoma's children from internet predators
is the focus of Senate Bill 1479 which was approved
today by the State Senate. Senator Jim
Wilson, D-Tahlequah, is primary author of the bill.
"This measure is going to help expand
protections we already have in place to protect our
children from sexual predators,” said Wilson.
“The bill focuses primarily on communications
via internet because that is where more and more predators
are finding their victims. Kids love to get on the web
and visit in chat rooms. Unfortunately, they aren’t
afraid to talk to strangers and they can sometimes innocently
give out personal information about themselves that
can put them in danger.”
Wilson noted that the measure expands
current law to make it illegal for an individual to
facilitate, encourage, offer or solicit sexual conduct
with a minor by use of any technology. Under provisions
of the bill, these types of communications through the
use of the internet, telephones, cellular phones, computers,
video or audio equipment, or any other type of electronic
device would be against the law.
“This measure is imperative for
the safety of our youth. One in five children who use
the Internet comes into contact with a sexual predator,”
said Wilson. “As a legislator and a grandfather,
I want to do everything possible to protect Oklahoma’s
children from these online monsters.”
SB 1479 would also create an Internet
Crimes Against Children (ICAC) unit under the Oklahoma
State Bureau of Investigation. The ICAC unit would be
responsible for investigating Internet crimes committed
against children, including, but not limited to, offenses
related to child pornography and solicitation of minors
for pornography, prostitution or sex-related offenses.
The unit would also be in charge of promoting safe Internet
use among children and their parents by various media
or printed material campaigns or by offering educational
programs to schools or communities throughout the state.
Finally, the measure increases the penalty
for online sexual offenses from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Currently violators can be imprisoned for up to one
year in the county jail but that would be increased
to up to five years in the custody of the Department
of Corrections. The new bill also ensures that each
communication constitutes a separate offense.
SB 1479 will now move to the House for
more information contact:
Senator Wilson's Office - (405) 521-5574