KS Takes the Lead: Linking Porn to Sex Crimes

Just trust us. That’s what the porn industry-backed non-profit group Adult Sites Against Child Pornography (ASACP) said to US District CourtCause & Effect Judge Michael Baylson. Judge Baylson presided over the case reviewing federal regulation 2257 – requiring that porn producers maintain documentation that their performers are over 18 years old. In a recent article outlining the case, co-writers David Levy & Gail Tines (author of Pornland) point out that “porn has become big business.” With big business comes a powerful lobbying forces to keep the laws on the side of those who have the money.

And the porn industry is flush with profits! From 2001 to 2007, Internet porn went from a $1-billion-a-year industry to a $3-billion-a-year in the U.S. That’s not all, as the web goes mobile – the industry expects their sales to soar. Up to $2.8 billion in mobile content and services alone by 2015 (Porn Stats, 2013, Covenant Eyes).

Can we trust porn producers to open their deep pockets to rehabilitate victims? Not likely! Congress had to pass the Mandatory Restitution for Sexual Exploitation of Children Act of 1994 – declaring that a person harmed as a result of child pornography shall be paid by the defendant “the full amount of the victim’s losses.” In cases so far, rulings have been split – the restitution being awarded depends heavily on the Federal Court hearing the case. The Supreme Court is going to weigh in (full story HERE). This law only considers one way that porn harms – and it’s complicated. What about in sex crime cases? Could porn producers be liable in cases where men addicted to porn act out the fantasy-driven act that are crimes in the real world?

In the 2013 KS Legislature session they passed HB-2017, Reporting Porn Act. This law is a practical connect the dot solution, providing more than an anecdotal evidence of the presence of porn at actual sex crime scenes. No other state has this law. For the first time, we don’t have to wait for the criminal to tell us that porn played a role in his crime. As this law takes effect, perhaps it will open a whole new world for holding the porn producers accountable for the harms the create.

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