FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/10/2015
REP. CHRIS PADDIE FILES BILL TO ENHANCE PENALTIES FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
State Representative Chris Paddie (Marshall) filed a bill to increase punishments for felony convictions for the possession or promotion of child pornography. House Bill 1123 will elevate penalties for the possession of child pornography, with or without the intent to distribute.
"This bill strengthens protections for our children and ensures that a predator's sentence matches the harm caused by the offense," said Rep. Paddie. "We need to empower law enforcement to fight these heinous crimes and enhance judicial tools for prosecuting predators."
HB 1123 would raise the possession of child pornography from a third degree to a second degree felony, while possession with the intent to distribute would be raised from the second to the first degree. Higher degree felony convictions often result in longer sentences.
According to state law, first degree felonies carry a prison term of between five and 99 years, while second degree felonies can result in two to 20 years of incarceration.
The bill would also place the possession of child pornography in a category of offenses requiring at least half of the sentence to be served before becoming eligible for parole.
"Recent cases involving child pornography highlight the need for stronger penalties to ensure that offenders are kept off of our streets and away from our children. No child should be put at risk from a known predator allowed to walk free," Paddie added.
Rep. Paddie is serving his second term in the Texas House of Representatives, where he represents District 9, including Cass, Marion, Harrison, Panola, Shelby, and Sabine Counties.
Rep. Paddie is the Vice Chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee. He also serves on the Transportation and House Administration committees.