Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
KCASA concluding statewide public forums; will make recommendations
FRANKFORT, KY.: Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence is urging the Kentucky Coalition Against Sexual Assaults (KCASA) to consider increasing the penalties for possession of child pornography from a class A misdemeanor to felony status.
“I spearheaded KCASA with the intention to gather enough information and evidence to update and strengthen the sexual offender laws in Kentucky,” said Lieutenant Governor Pence. “KCASA has held six public meetings across the state and will hold one more in Paducah before its conclusion. A recurring theme in these meetings has been a concern about the lax laws and penalties regarding the possession of child pornography. We must strengthen legislation regarding this crime to protect our children from these sick predators.”
KCASA has held successful forums in Lexington, Louisville, Erlanger, Hazard, Ashland, and Owensboro. During each forum prosecutors, defense attorneys, victims’ advocates, judges, legislators, and other concerned citizens have had the opportunity to present their opinions regarding how sex offender laws could be better implemented in Kentucky.
“Currently, if a person is found in possession of child pornography, they are not even placed on the sex offender registry. This is one aspect of the law that must be immediately changed. Child pornography is a tool frequently used by pedophiles, and possession of child pornography shows the possessor has a serious potential to molest children,” continued Lieutenant Governor Pence.
David Huber, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, applauded the lieutenant governor for his commitment to protecting children. “Bringing state child pornography laws in line with federal legislation would help prosecutors address these heinous crimes. Felony prosecutions of the distribution of child pornography is a priority of this office. I commend the lieutenant governor for his willingness to tackle this important initiative,” said Huber.
In addition to strengthening Kentucky legislation pertaining to child pornography, Lieutenant Governor Pence is also encouraging the Kentucky State Police to continue its mission to crack down on the crime. KSP recently received a federal continuation grant of $390,000 from the Internet Crimes Against Children program. The grant will allow state police to train local law enforcement agencies in prevention and protection against child pornography. KSP is currently working with 11 police and sheriff departments across the state in this endeavor, including the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.
“The current state laws regarding possession of child pornography must be strengthened in order to shield the most vulnerable members of society: our children,” added Major Jack Prindle, commander of the electronic crime division of the Boone County Sheriff’s Office. “I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Pence for his commitment to protecting families of Kentucky.”