Loophole in child molestation law closed

Thu, 05/07/2009 - 10:32am
By: John Munford

Child molestation loophole fixed

The Georgia Legislature has amended the state's child molestation statutes to close a legal loophole, officials have said.

House Bill 123, authored by Peachtree City's Matt Ramsey, eliminates the requirement for the perpetrator to be physically present with a victim in order to be prosecuted for child molestation. That requirement was a result of a previous appeals court ruling.

The bill was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

“The Court’s ruling created a barrier that limited prosecutors' ability to go after predators that subject children to lewd acts via electronic means such as webcams or live streaming video," Ramsey said. "It was an unusual result in that it meant an offender that commits a lewd act in the presence of a child can be prosecuted for molestation, whereas another person who induces a child to watch the exact same act on a webcam cannot, despite the fact that the impact on the child is the same. HB 123 corrected this flaw."

Ramsey said Georgia's laws must keep up with technological changes and in this case that means closing a loophole that allows predators to use technology to prey upon our children.

Rep. Ramsey was joined at the signing ceremony by two of the legislation’s co-sponsors, Rep. Mark Williams (R-Jesup) and Rep. Kevin Levitas (D-Atlanta). Judge Christopher Edwards, District Attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit Scott Ballard and his Chief Assistant District Attorney Randy Coggin were also present at the signing.

“I truly appreciate Judge Edwards for bringing the issue to my attention and to Scott Ballard and Randy Coggin for their efforts throughout the legislative session, including participation in several committee hearings, in support of this bill,” Ramsey said.

The legislation was carried in the Senate by Sen. Ronnie Chance of Tyrone and passed the House and Senate overwhelmingly with bi-partisan support.

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Submitted by ptcgal on Thu, 05/07/2009 - 9:23pm.

As a molestation victim, I for one am thankful that this law is now in effect. We need to put a stop to any and all means for these predators to commit these acts. Maybe this is a giant step in that direction!! Thank you for making this possible

redrooster's picture
Submitted by redrooster on Thu, 05/07/2009 - 5:49pm.

Did anyone ever consider just a little parental supervision when their children on the internet? Thank god for sending Matt Ramsey to protect our children from looking at porn on the internet and talking on cell phones. Now what do you propose to do about the zombies?
I'm so glad I'm old!

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Thu, 05/07/2009 - 11:18am.

There's our dad gummed child molester defending district attorney Scooter Ballard posing for another political photo op. DA Scotty... A staunch advocate for child predators... I mean children.


Don't Spread My Wealth.... Spread My Work Ethic

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