Rep. Eberhart: Bill strengthening penalties for sex offenders advances to governor

Posted by: Hannah Carlock  | Thursday, March 10, 2016 6:50 pm

Bill strengthening penalties for sex offenders advances to governor

STATEHOUSE (March 10, 2016) – A bill sponsored by State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) that increases penalties for child exploitation could soon become law in Indiana.  

Senate Enrolled Act 14 outlining various offenses dealing with minors would increase penalties from a Level 5 offense to a Level 4 offense. Under Indiana code, a Level 4 felony results in up to 12 years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000. A Level 5 felony results in up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Senate Enrolled Act 14 would also classify the possession or distribution of child pornography as a Level 5 felony instead of its current status as a Level 6 felony. A Level 6 felony results in six months to one and half years behind bars and a fine of up to $10,000.

“It is vital that we increase penalties for criminals who commit the horrific act of child exploitation to keep these offenders behind bars,” Eberhart said. “This really hits home, after last year’s discovery that a Shelbyville man was found to be one of the most prolific disseminators of child pornography. It is my goal as a lawmaker to ensure that our Hoosier children are protected.”

Senate Enrolled Act 14 now heads to the governor for further consideration.

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Rep. Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) represents Shelby County and portions of Bartholomew and Hancock counties.