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For Immediate Release
March 5, 2004
Media Contact: 410-576-6357

CURRAN URGES NEW LAW TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL PREDATORS

On March 9, 2004, Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. will be in Annapolis advocating for legislation to protect children from sexual predators. Maryland laws currently make it a crime for an adult to engage in sexual conduct with a child 15 or younger. Senate Bill 512 and House Bill 929 would make it a crime to solicit a minor by computer, telephone, or any other means, to engage in this unlawful sexual conduct. The bills would also permit prosecution if the person solicited was believed to be a minor, but in actuality was an undercover police officer.

“ The majority of states have legislation prohibiting soliciting or enticing a minor to engage in unlawful sexual conduct,” Curran said. “Maryland should similarly protect its children from such solicitations during their daily activities, such as using the computer or walking home from school. I am urging legislation that will protect our children by allowing sexual predators to be charged and prosecuted based on the act of solicitation, rather than having to wait until a child is physically harmed.”

Attorney General Curran, who has prosecuted cases involving adults who attempted to solicit minors to engage in sexual conduct, proposed the legislation.

Hearings on the bills will begin at 1 p.m. in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee (for Senate Bill 512) and the House Judiciary Committee (for House Bill 929).

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