STATEHOUSE – Hoosier children and seniors will be safer under bills passed by State Representative Eric Koch (R-Bedford) and signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence.
“Use of the Internet by child predators is growing,” said Rep. Koch. “It was time to update our laws to close legal loopholes and strengthen the capabilities of the police and prosecutors.”
Rep. Koch, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, co-sponsored SEA 223 and SEA 347, legislation addressing child solicitation and child pornography. SEA 223 expands the definition of criminal sexual conduct to include filming or disseminating material containing underage female breasts with the intent to encourage arousal. This will allow for increased discretion by law enforcement and prosecution and provide for enhanced protection of children who are being coerced into being inappropriately photographed.
SEA 347 makes the following changes to Indiana’s criminal code to address use of the Internet by child predators:
SEA 382 creates the Senior Consumer Protection Act, which helps protect senior citizens from illegal misuse of assets through fraud, extortion and intimidation. Those who financially exploit seniors would have their assets frozen, be subject to an injunction and be held responsible for the cost of investigation and prosecution. The bill would also increase civil penalty costs from $50 to up to $5,000 per violation. Violations of trust by those including spouses, children and attorneys, would also result in stiffer penalties.
“This legislation gets tough on those who would sexually exploit children or financially exploit the elderly,” said Rep. Koch. “Now, there will be fewer legal loopholes to avoid justice for crimes against our most vulnerable citizens.”