FRANKFORT, KY - The House of Representatives passed a bill on Monday, March 1, 2021 that would raise the penalty for possessing, viewing or wantonly distributing matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor under the age of 12 years to a class C felony. The measure is sponsored by Representative Derek Lewis of London.
“According to the American Medical Association, child sexual abuse is a silent and violent epidemic,” Lewis said. “I am proud to sponsor this bipartisan legislation and grateful to Heather Wagers from the Attorney General’s office for her help on this issue.
Under the provisions of HB 254, offenders who wantonly distribute this matter will be charged with a class C felony for the first offense, and a class B felony for each subsequent offense.
“Our law enforcement community works tirelessly to identify, arrest, and prosecute those who take advantage of our most vulnerable,” Lewis added. “HB 254 gives them greater tools in their work to keep these severely troubled people off the streets.”
“We are committed to fighting back against child exploitation in Kentucky, and the bipartisan passage of House Bill 254 allows us to further protect Kentucky’s children by enhancing penalties against predators who possess, view, or distribute child sexual abuse material of a minor under 12,” said Attorney General Cameron (left). “I appreciate the work of Representative Derek Lewis, each of the bill’s co-sponsors, and members of the House of Representatives for unanimously passing this important piece of legislation.”
HB 254 now goes to the Senate for consideration. Full text of the bill can be found on the Legislative Research Commission’s website at legislature.ky.gov.