Loophole in WA State Law Does Not Make it Illegal to Look at Child Pornography - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Loophole in WA State Law Does Not Make it Illegal to Look at Child Pornography

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- A loophole in Washington state law makes it legal to look at child pornography.  State Attorney General Rob  McKenna and state law makers are working to change the law.

The current law does not make it illegal to view child pornography.  The law says "A person who knowingly possesses visual or printed matter depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct is guilty of a class B felony."  This leaves out just looking at it.

The attorney general, lawmakers, and law enforcement agencies are working to change that, this legislative session. McKenna created the Youth Internet Safety Task force to look at online issues, and they found some scary statistics.  McKenna explains, "Our research shows that more pedophiles are evading the law by not actually downloading or printing out the images, and yet, 80% of child pornography consumers are also sexually abusing children.  We want to have another lever to put these guys in state prison."

The state Senate Judiciary Committee passed a version of the bill last week, and it's now in the Senate Rules Committee.  McKenna is confident it will pass both the Senate and House this year.

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