I’m working to make the world a better place, and a safer place for our children. I’m proud to have sponsored bills that make it easier to track down pedophiles because when a child is missing, time is of the essence. I’m grateful to do my part to help save the lives of innocent children in Utah.
Its a topic that we would prefer not to think about. Its hard for us to imagine that there are people so depraved that they would sexually molest innocent children. But for my good friends on the Internet Crimes Against Children task force the reality is all too harsh. This small but dedicated group spend a lot of their time and energy tracking these people down and getting them away from our kids. The task force has three main programs they use to keep our kids safe from pedophiles.
The first program of the task force deals with tracking down child pornography. Child pornography is the gateway drug to becoming a molester and catching pedophiles at this stage could save a child’s life. One of the more difficult aspects of catching pedophiles at this stage is that task force members have to view the videos to verify that they meet the criteria for child pornography. This is extremely difficult for them and they have to be evaluated by a psychologist on a frequent basis to ensure that the job isn’t getting to them. These men and women make a true sacrifice that is deep and long-lasting, but the goal of getting pedophiles away from our kids is worth it for them.
The second program deals with finding those who are posing as kids and trying to form relationships with children with the intent of entrapping and molesting them. There are many pedophiles who troll around chat rooms looking for children to connect to and try to gain the trust of. Task force members spend a lot of time to find out who these people are and stop them from stalking and preying on our children.
The last and most tragic task of the task force is to find a child who has been kidnapped. Once the call comes to the task force that a child is missing and stranger abduction is strongly suspected, the task force will use the tools it has to find out who the child was communicating with and where that person lives. Often the task force has less than 24 hours to find the child. Luckily they have great tools on hand to help them track down the child and are often successful.
In all of these jobs of the task force, I was able to run some legislation that gave them tools to help them do their job better. These bills help the task force to find those who would harm our children without violating our privacy and constitutional rights. These tools have been very effective at keeping our children safe from pedophiles.
This last session I was able to pass a bill that will add another way to keep pedophiles and other sexual predators from our children. Prior to the bill's passing under Utah Law, if someone was too mentally ill to stand trial, but was still a pedophile, he could not be committed to a mental institution. This was a hole in the law that has allowed a sexual predator to remain at large in the state. The bill I passed closed this loophole so that sexual predators who are too mentally ill to stand trial can be committed to a mental hospital and even recieve treatment for their mental illness.