Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley and Democrat Jon Ossof (D-Da) unveiled legislation to help enhance justice for young survivors of sex crimes.
The Preventing Child Sex Abuse Act comes after an effort to help strengthen a federal sex tourism law; the same law prosecutors thought to be too vague to try and convict disgraced former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually assaulted multiple athletes.
The bill additionally emphasizes cracking down on the use of foreign charity work as a cover for child sex abuse crimes while simultaneously closing gaps to protect minors against “secret sexually explicit recordings of minors as well as non-contact sexual abuse.”
“Parents across Georgia are increasingly worried about online sexual predators who are targeting children. Our bipartisan legislation will help keep kids safer online and crack down on predators and abusers to the fullest extent of the law,” Ossoff said.
“This bill is inspired by the incredible bravery and pursuit of justice by the survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse. Their work to demand accountability will improve the lives of survivors everywhere and, God willing, help prevent future abuse. It’s essential that Congress strengthen and clarify existing statutes to better protect our children and ensure that predators are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Grassley said.
Due to the alleged failures of the justice department to pursue additional charges for Nasaar, the bill looks to strengthen the current sex trafficking statute to prevent further hesitancy from prosecutors based on the existing language with the following:
- Prohibiting sexual predators from exploiting children during travel by clarifying that crossing state or international boundaries with the “intent to engage” in illicit sexual conduct constitutes a sex tourism offense.
- Cracking down on sexual abuse under the guise of charity work
- Improving justice for survivors of non-physical sex crimes such as secret video recording by clarifying the definition of “sexual activity” with minors doesn’t require physical contact.
Senator Grassley has been a longtime champion of legislation supporting victims of violent crimes and advocate for victims of sex trafficking during his time in the senate