Protecting children from pornography

Earlier this year, a deputy from the Linn County Sheriff’s office asked if I could do anything about protecting children from being shown sexually explicit material. He shared that during sex abuse investigations, he and his colleagues would often discover sexually explicit material on a video or DVD they felt was harmful to children. As a result, I began crafting a bill that would protect our children and provide a tool for law enforcement to combat this problem.

From my years at George Fox University in the counseling program, I knew . . . depending upon the age of exposure . . . the impact of pornography could be extremely harmful and would dictate how boys responded to relationships later in life.

Legislative Counsel (LC) Draft 87 addresses two areas of Chapter 167 of the Criminal Code; it criminalizes providing sexually explicit material to any child under age 13 and prohibits providing sexually explicit material to a minor under 18 if done for the purposes of luring the minor to engage in sexual conduct.
Over the years, the Oregon Supreme Court has found several portions of Chapter 167 unconstitutional under the mask of “freedom of speech.” Numerous criminal statutes existed without any teeth. The Criminal Justice Community just did not have the tools to protect our children. Well . . . LC 87 provides those tools.

I greatly appreciate those who have participated in the several work-group sessions we have held. Members from the District Attorney’s Association, Attorney General’s Office, ACLU, Legislative Counsel and Judiciary Counsel all worked hard with me to put this LC in the forefront. I greatly appreciate Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown’s involvement and support throughout the process. And I am thankful for the help Linn County District Attorney Jason Carlile provided during the work sessions as well.

Recently, Governor Ted Kulongoski recognized the effort involved in this bill by talking about it while visiting Portland, “This legislative concept is critically important because experts tell us that exposing a child to sexually explicit material””other than in an education or treatment setting””is harmful to the child’s psychological development.”

I feel this bill is laying the groundwork for several bi-partisan anti-crime bills in 2007. This time the focus is on children, and the goal is safeguarding Oregon’s kids from the growing threats of sex abuse, grooming and on-line solicitation.

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Posted by at 08:39 | Posted in Measure 37 | 46 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    Thanks for your time and attention to this matter. It is action that is way overdue.

  • Clay Fouts

    Where can one read the text of this draft?

  • mrf

    My question is does this cover proposal enough to include the material shown on the internet — where it is much more difficult to capture physical evidence?

  • craig

    How will this affect the use of adult material on the internet in our libraries?
    Around our children

  • Jerry

    I would hope it would stop the use of adult material at the library around children or adults. Our tax dollars should never be used to promote the degrading porn industry by allowing its use at a library. People who say otherwise are ignorant at best and fools most likely. Use your own money for that stuff – not mine!

    • Clay Fouts

      I would hope that we stop letting people abuse our tax dollars to pay for library privileges to promote the degrading professional sports industry, an industry which systematically exploits youth, destroys their bodies, and provides little more than slack-jawed entertainment for an anaesthetized public. People who say otherwise are ignorant at best, and obese most likely. I don’t want *my* money used for that garbage.

      • Regardless of content, the difference between your argument and Jerry’s is that he specifically states how the porn industry may be infiltrating the library. Conversely, your diatribe against the societal norm of a positive relationship with the sports industry lacks any justification for outburst except contempt for conservative stereotypes. Get over your hatred and overuse of stereotypes of conservatives.

        Rep. Olson makes a good argument, backed up by Gov. Ted, that early exposure to pornographic material is detrimental to a child’s psychological development. As the 2007 session approaches it will be interesting to see how the legislature addresses the issue of sex abuse of children through legislation. If our society is not willing to protect the basic psychological development of children, then it appears that we are not willing to do what is necessary to raise successful future generations.

        • Clay Fouts

          What are you saying? I don’t understand what stereotypes have to do with anything I’ve stated. Jerry says he prefers his tax dollars not be spent on allowing adults to have library privileges for something he thinks is harmful and personally doesn’t like. My statement makes the same claim, only with a different preference substituted.

          As it is, people can use their internet access on library computers to look at porn, promote pre-emptive warfare, read professional sports scores, write about their cats, or look at the latest line of SUVs… All things that someone, somewhere thinks is harmful, wasteful, deleterious, maladaptive, blah blah blah. I don’t think Jerry should be able to tell people to limit their use of library resources to the list of things he feels appropriate, any more than I should be able to with my ridiculous counter-example.

          Regardless, this doesn’t have any apparent relationship to the proposed changes. I’d like to read the text of the proposal to understand the scope and possible outcomes of its inclusion in law, but I can’t find it anywhere. I can fully see supporting legislation that would address adults using pornography in order to coopt and subvert the will of youth. But the way Mr. Olson describes his proposal doesn’t make it clear that that would be the only purpose or use. That he disparages and diminishes the very first amendment included in the Bill of Rights by dismissively enclosing its prime tenet in quotation marks and calling it’s reference by the courts a friggin’ “mask” does not give me a lot of confidence that this isn’t just a bunch of “but what about the children?!?!” poppycock designed to further erode our Constitutional guarantees.

  • Jerry

    Thanks Mark. You are right on the money. This is the typical response from people who don’t have a clue about the damage porn can inflict. This is also a typical response from people who want everyone else to pay for their needs. Very strange indeed and very shallow thinking. This guy most likely thinks nude lap dancing is free speech – need one say more?

    • Anonymous

      I wasn’t aware that internet at the library was paid for by the website you went to. Isn’t it all just purchased in one block period? so whether it goes to researching history, looking up sports stats etc, it is ALREADY paid for. You’re not paying for someone to look up porn. the bandwidth is already purchase. The only thing remaining is what they send the browser to. So, perhaps what you really mean is you don’t want to pay for anyone to look up anything at the library. because that would be more accurate. at least if you’re a libertarian. and if you are, then back the hell up from our personal liberties like you should

  • Jerry

    I am saying, no matter what, that my tax dollars should never be used to provide access to porn to anyone. Yes, that is correct. You don’t have the “right” to do that, by the way. You think you do, but you don’t. You can do it, but you don’t have a “right” to do it.

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