Missouri State Senate

House Committee Substitute

HCS/SS/SCS/SB 5 - This act modifies laws relating to sexual offenses against children.

Sections 195.503 & 650.120

Section 650.120, RSMo, allows grant money received by multijurisdictional Internet cyber crime law enforcement task forces to be used to purchase necessary equipment, supplies, and services. Currently, the grant money received by such task forces may only be used to pay law enforcement salaries and to provide training.

Currently, multijurisdictional enforcement groups under Chapter 195, RSMo, are allowed to investigate computer, Internet-based, narcotics, and drug violations. This act changes the definition of such groups in Section 195.503, RSMo, to reflect this power. Under this act, multijurisdictional enforcement groups are allowed to received grant money to investigate internet sex crimes against children.

Section 650.120, RSMo, allows up to 3% of the money appropriated to the Department of Public Safety for the grant program to be used for administrative costs.

The arrest power of peace officers authorized as a member of a multijurisdictional Internet cyber crime law enforcement task force shall only be used when the officer is an active member of such task force and within the scope of the investigation. The officers shall have the power of arrest anywhere in the state and shall provide prior notification to the local police chief or sheriff of an arrest in his or her jurisdiction. However, if exigent circumstances exist, such arrest may be made and notification shall be made to the police chief or sheriff as soon as possible. The police chief or sheriff may elect to work with task forces within his or her jurisdiction.

These sections have an emergency clause and are identical to SCS/SB 256 (2007).

Section 537.047

This section provides that any person who, while a child or minor, was a victim of certain offenses related to child exploitation or child pornography, and who suffers physical or psychological injury or illness as a result of the violation, shall be entitled to bring a civil cause of action to recover damages sustained by the violation. A "victim" means any child or minor who, in the creation of child pornography or obscene material, was a participant in or observer of sexual conduct, or who was photographed, filmed or videotaped. Any action described under this section shall be commenced within ten years of the plaintiff attaining the age of twenty-one, or within three years of the date the plaintiff discovers that the injury or illness was caused by the violation of an offense enumerated in this act, whichever later occurs. A cause of action under this section may arise only if the violation that caused the injury occurs on or after August 28, 2007. Nothing within any insurance contract shall be construed to extend the terms thereof, including any duty of an insurer to defend or pay damages for an insured in any civil cause of action brought by a victim.

Section 566.147

This section modifies how it is determined whether a sex offender resides within 1,000 feet of a school or child-care facility. The distance shall be determined by measuring the shortest distance between the property line of the person's residence and the property line of the school or child-care facility.

This section has an emergency clause.

Section 573.025

A person is guilty of promoting chid pornography in the first degree if, knowing of its contents and character, such person possesses with the intent to promote or promotes child pornography of a child less than 14 years of age or obscene material portraying what appears to be a child less than fourteen years of age. This section prohibits any person who pleads guilty to or is found guilty of promoting child pornography in the first degree from being eligible for probation or parole for at least 3 years.

Section 573.035

A person is guilty of promoting chid pornography in the second degree if, knowing of its contents and character, such person possesses with the intent to promote or promotes child pornography of a minor under the age of eighteen or obscene material portraying what appears to be a minor under the age of eighteen. This section prohibits any person convicted of promoting child pornography in the second degree from being eligible for probation.

Section 573.037

A person commits possession of child pornography if, knowing of its content and character, such person possesses any child pornography of a minor under the age of eighteen or obscene material portraying a minor under the age of eighteen.

This section makes possession of child pornography a class C felony unless the person possesses more than twenty still images or one film or videotape of child pornography or has previously committed this offense, in which case, the crime is a class B felony. Currently, possession of child pornography is a class D felony unless the offender has previously committed this offense, in which case, the crime is a class C felony.

Section 573.038

This section requires that in any criminal proceeding, any property or material that constitutes child pornography shall remain in the custody of the state or the court. The court shall deny requests to copy or reproduce the child pornography if it is made reasonably available to the defendant by providing ample opportunity for inspection, viewing, and examination at a state or other governmental facility.

This act is similar to SCS/SB 256 (2007), SCS/HB 41 (2007), HB 849 (2007), HB 960 (2007), HCS/SCS/SB 369 & SB 550 (2007), & HB 961 (2007).

SUSAN HENDERSON MOORE

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