October 4, 2006
CrimProf Mary Leary Discusses New Internet Laws that May Be Used to Prosecute Foley
News-Press.com: Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law CrimProf Mary Leary discusses the new laws that may be used to prosecute Former Rep. Mark Foley for allegedly sending sexually explicit Internet messages to teenage congressional pages.
CrimProf Leary said the laws that might be used to prosecute Foley were born of the realization that the Internet ushered in a new way to prey on children.
According to a 2001 study by the Crimes Against Children Research Center, one in five children who used the Internet had been sexually solicited or approached in the previous year. Prosecutors sought a way to arrest sexual predators before they were able to arrange a meeting with potential victims.
"They were running into a problem where they had evidence of inappropriate discussions but no actual criminal act," Leary said. "The new laws changed that."
One of the laws that may apply began as a 1998 bill sponsored by Foley and 36 House colleagues that prohibits sending obscene photos or messages to minors over the Internet. Violators face up to 10 years in prison. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]
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