PUBLISHED: 11:14 AM on Wednesday, March 2, 2005
French, Kookesh File Bills to Protect Children
Legislation outlaws Internet vicitmization, seeks admissibility of interviews
JUNEAU - Sens. Hollis French, D-Anchorage, and Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, introduced a package of bills today to protect children from crime and its effects.

Two of the bills, Senate Bills 118 and 119, make it a crime to entice minors on the Internet and to send them indecent material electronically..

"These bills will help provide a 'safety Net' for Alaska's children," said Senator French. "No parent should have to live in fear that a child will receive pornography by e-mail or be lured into a dangerous relationship by a predator. SB 118 and SB 119 will help Alaska's police and prosecutors bring an end to these terrible acts."

A third bill in the package, Senate Bill 117, makes recorded statements of victims under 16 admissible in court if they were conducted under certain conditions. These "forensic interviews," which are conducted in child advocacy centers around the state, are now admissible only if the child victim contradicts his or her earlier statement or cannot remember the event.

"Alaska's rate of child sexual abuse is among the highest in the nation. We know that the Internet is playing an increasing role in child victimization here as well as around the globe," said Senator Kookesh. "These bills will help protect Alaska's children and bring swifter justice for them."