A bill advanced by a New Jersey Senate committee would increase the penalties for child pornography.
The legislation would make possessing more than 100 items — or distributing more than 25 items — depicting child porn punishable by a mandatory prison term with lifetime parole supervision.
Sen. Kevin O’Toole hopes increased penalties will be a significant deterrent.
“Those people who are doing this, I don’t thing they’re curable, fixable. I think once they do something like this … they should go to jail as long as humanly possible,” said O’Toole, R-Essex.
He says strnger penalties are necessary because child pornography has become rife in all segments of society.
“You had teachers, coaches, you had an Assembly member here a few years ago that was found guilty of it,” O’Toole said Monday. “There isn’t a day goes by that you don’t read something in the newspaper about child porn on the Internet whether it’s here, New York City, across the country.”
O’Toole says the legislation would classify file sharing of child porn as distribution of the material.
The bill, which has gotten bipartisan support, also calls for anyone convicted of permitting a child to become a victim of pornography to be required to serve 85 percent of their sentence before being eligible for parole.