Sens. Ossoff, Grassley Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Children from Online Predators & Sexual Exploitation

New bipartisan legislation strengthens Federal protections against sexual abuse of children, including online exploitation

FBI Atlanta division recently warned of rise of sextortion cases targeting teens

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is working across the aisle to protect children from online predators and sexual exploitation.

Today, Sens. Ossoff and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the bipartisan Preventing Child Sex Abuse Act of 2022 to strengthen Federal protections against the sexual abuse of children, including online exploitation.

The Atlanta division of the FBI recently warned parents of a rise in “sextortion” cases, where adult predators are posing as teenage girls online to solicit explicit photos or videos from minors and later attempt to extort them for money.

Sens. Ossoff and Grassley’s bill will strengthen Federal laws to ensure they provide protection against abusers who coerce children into sexual activity online, such as through messaging platforms or webcams. 

The legislation would also crack down on predators who travel across state or international lines with the intent to sexually exploit children, such as in the case of former USA Olympics doctor Larry Nassar.

“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,” Sen. 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,” Sen. Grassley said. “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.”

The bipartisan Preventing Child Sex Abuse Act of 2022 is endorsed by leading child protection and law enforcement organizations, including: the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Rights4Girls, Stop Child Predators, and the Keep Kids Safe Movement:

“Thank you to Senator Grassley and Senator Ossoff for creating a federal bill that prioritizes the safety of children by fixing the loopholes in the existing federal laws to ensure perpetrators of child sexual abuse will face greater accountability for their heinous actions under federal law. Children will ultimately be safer as a result of this bill,” said Tasha Schwikert Moser, 2000 U.S. Olympic Medalist.

“Rights4Girls welcomes the introduction of the Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Act, legislation that repairs a legislative loophole that allowed child predators like Larry Nassar to escape accountability under federal law. We thank Senators Grassley and Ossoff for demonstrating their commitment to survivors by correcting this critical gap in the law,” said Yasmin Vafa, Executive Director, Rights4Girls.

“In the U.S. someone is sexually assaulted every minute. And every 9 minutes the victim is a child. Yet only 25 out of 1000 perpetrators will end up in prison. Senators Grassley & Ossoff make an unambiguous statement that we must focus squarely on accountability for people who exploit children. This bill will make the law crystal clear when it comes to the sexual victimization of children, establishing a zero-tolerance policy in federal law. We at ICMEC applaud those efforts and will work tirelessly with Congress to ensure that anyone who sexually abuses a child will be prosecuted and convicted,” said Bob Cunningham, CEO of International Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

“We commend Senators Grassley and Ossoff for their bipartisan leadership – strengthening our country’s ability to respond to predators targeting children and ultimately keep our kids healthy, happy, and safe,” said Agatha Tomasik, Executive Director of Stop Child Predators.

“Sexual exploitation increasingly involves predators coercing minors into explicit activity that does not necessarily involve physical contact. The Grassley/Ossoff bill makes it easier for federal officials to target these criminals,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

Click here to read the bipartisan Preventing Child Sex Abuse Act of 2022.

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