Kerry Announces Massachusetts To Receive $774,492 For Prevention of Internet Crimes Against Children
Senator John Kerry today announced that Massachusetts is eligible to receive $774,492 in Recovery Act funds to prevent Internet crimes against children. The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Grant Program is part of the Department of Justices' Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs.
The funding will allow the Massachusetts State Police to hire additional law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and forensic analysts and will pay for improvements to increase the ability law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute predators.
It's estimated that one in seven children online have received a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet. Thirty-four percent have had unwanted exposure to inappropriate material.
"The statistics are alarming and just plain sickening. As a former prosecutor, I know first hand the difficult challenge law enforcement officials face day in and day out to protect our children from sexual predators. This funding will help arm the Massachusetts State Police and other professionals with the tools they need to preempt crimes and protect innocent children," said Senator Kerry.
In 2006, legislation authored by Kerry to close loopholes in child Internet pornography laws was signed into law. Kerry's bill, "Masha's Law," was included in the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act. It dramatically increased penalties for anyone who downloads child pornography, raising the civil penalties from $50,000 to $150,000. It also fixed the law to allow victims ages 18 or older to recover damages from those who download images of them.
Kerry was inspired to write the law after meeting Masha Allen, a young girl who was sexually abused for years, and whose images were posted online.
For more information about the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, please visit http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/Programs/ProgSummary.asp?pi=3.