Member's Press Release

Release Date: 02/01/2012
Contact: Senator John Unger II at (304) 357-7933

Majority Leader John R. Unger II

West Virginia Senate Passes Bill Concerning Explicit Content

Law enforcement officers' ability to charge adults who send obscene material to minors will be strengthened by a bill passed today by the West Virginia Senate. Senate Majority Leader John Unger II (D - Berkeley) was lead sponsor of the bill.

Senate Bill 385 adds new items to the list of devices qualifying as computers, including personal laptops, tablets, cell phones, and game consoles. The bill also amends the law that defines the crime of exposing obscene material to children by adding the entire definition of computer to its definition section.

“Protecting our children is a top priority,” says Senator Unger. “This bill is one more step in our fight to ensure justice is served to adults who violate or hurt West Virginian children.”

Unger and his colleagues worked closely with the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) to create Senate Bill 385.

Lieutenant Reggie Patterson of the WVSP explains, “As technology advances, this broader definition gives law enforcement officers the opportunity to capture any device used to exploit children by means of the internet.” Obscene content is generally defined as sexually explicit. To distribute obscene material to minors is a felony. Senate Bill 385 was sent to the House of Delegates upon passage.

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