Hawaii Senator Introduces New Anti-Child Pornography Bill "Alicia's Law"
Senator Will Espero, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, today announced the introduction of Senate Bill 2595, also known as “Alicia’s Law,” a measure that would provide a dedicated revenue stream for Hawaii’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
Senator Will Espero, Chair of the Public Safety Intergovernmental Affairs Committee; Alicia Kozakiewicz, for whom the law is named, abducted at age 13 by an Internet predator; Alison Arngrim, celebrity advocate, best known for her portrayal of Nellie Oleson on the NBC television series “Little House on the Prairie.”
The initiative, #AliciasLaw, is named after Alicia Kozakiewicz, who was abducted by an Internet predator, held hostage and tortured in a Virginia basement at the age of 13.
“I’m here today because the ICAC Task Forces were there,” said Kozakiewicz. “I was the needle in the haystack. I received the miracle. Because of that, I feel a moral obligation to help save as many other children who are subjected to abuse.”
There are thousands of ICAC leads in the state of Hawaii trafficking in sadistic images and videos of children being raped and tortured. Nationally, 50% to 70% of these cases lead detectives to rescuing children from sexual abuse. The FBI reports that “the scope of the problem is worse than anticipated and growing exponentially.”
“The Hawaii ICAC task force is doing the best job they can with the limited resources of a Federal grant,” said Sen. Espero. “However, they are only able to investigate one to two cases per month. With thousands of children needing protection this is unacceptable, and Hawaii needs a permanent revenue stream to fund the ICAC task force.”
“We know that most internet predators are also hands-on offenders and we know that child sexual abuse is a stealth crime,” said Grier Weeks, Executive Director of The National Association to Protect Children. “We can’t let children languish in abusive situations if we have the ability to provide law enforcement with a tool that allows for the immediate rescue of that child.”
“This bill, should it become law, will help to keep our keiki safe,” added Sen. Espero. “Internet-based social media applications have become popular and easily accessible over the years especially amongst youth. These technologies and other internet sites can leave minors exposed to a litany of abuses and exploitations. It is imperative that we provide the necessary tools and resources to fight this growing epidemic.”