'Alicia's law' calling for additional court costs to fund Internet Crimes Against Children task force passes House panel
02/24/2015 03:37 PM
FRANKFORT — A bill designed to give a financial boost to the Kentucky State Police Internet Crimes Against Children task force cleared a House panel with unanimous consent Tuesday.
House Bill 427 known as “Alicia’s Law” would impose a $10 fee as part of court costs in criminal cases heard in Circuit Court to supplement a fund to protect children from internet crime.
The bill is named for Alicia Kozakiewicz, a victim and namesake of the Alicia’s Law campaign led by the National Association to Protect Children.
House Bill 427, sponsored by Sen. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, would add the additional revenue collected to supplement funding for the Kentucky State Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The task force works to actively investigate crimes and prosecute offenders who commit crimes against children on the internet.
“I think the scary thing to us is our guys work some incredible cases and so some great work, as do the local agencies across the commonwealth, but the problem is, there’s so much more out there that we can’t get to,” said Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer.
Brewer admits that the extra funding could make a difference in tracking down more crimes and helping more children.
“It helps not only in hiring more investigators, but also more forensic investigators for us to examine computers and to look at which is a costly, timely endeavor,” Brewer said.
The committee heard emotional testimony from Alicia Kozakiewicz, who in 2002 at the age of 13 was a victim of an internet crime in which she was abducted and tortured.
“I was raped and beaten and tortured, and my degradation was shared live to an audience over streaming video,” Kozakiewicz said.
Kozakiewicz now travels around the country telling of her experience and advocating the need for task forces to combat growing internet crimes against children.
And she said she feels that children today are more vulnerable than ever to internet crime.
“Today, kids have an entirely new sense of instability and anonymity with the internet because it’s attached to them constantly,” Kozakiewicz said. “It’s part of their daily lives, they’re constantly uploading and sharing and tweeting and it’s constant for them and its’ broken down the walls of safety.”
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