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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: May 22, 2009

Sen. Jonathan Nichols
Sen. Jonathan Nichols

Senate Approves Tougher Domestic Violence/Child Porn Penalties

The State Senate has given final approval to legislation creating stronger penalties for domestic abuse and for possession of child pornography. Senate Bill 1020, by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, was approved unanimously on Friday.

“Crimes like domestic abuse and child pornography destroy families and shatter lives,” said Nichols, R-Norman. “My legislation creates stronger sentences and closes loopholes so these serious crimes will carry the serious punishments they deserve.”

Under current law, a first offense of domestic abuse is only a misdemeanor. Nichols’ legislation would make that crime a felony when a “prior pattern of conduct” can be established. SB 1020 also closes a loophole in the law. While most sections of state law list the crime of child porn possession as a felony, a single section listed it as a misdemeanor.

“Defense attorneys were using this outdated section to argue their clients should only be charged with a misdemeanor. My legislation closes that loophole,” Nichols said.

Nichols’ legislation also increases the punishment for aggravated possession of child porn to up to life in prison. Aggravated possession would apply to a person possessing over 100 pornographic images of children. It also increases possession of child pornography to up to 20 years in prison. If signed into law, the bill would also require anyone convicted of child porn to register as a sex offender.

“The market for child pornography encourages further exploitation of children—that’s why it is so important that we do everything possible to stop this crime and punish those who have created a market for the sexual abuse of children,” Nichols said.

SB 1020 now returns to the House for final approval.

For more information contact:
Sen. Nichols - (405) 521-5535

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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