New bill instrumental in Internet charges

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Prosecutors throughout Colorado filed 58 charges in the six months following the implementation of House Bill 10-11, legislation designed to protect children from Internet predators.

From July 1 to Dec. 31 of 2006, prosecutors filed 34 Internet luring charges, 14 Internet sexual exploitation charges and 10 charges of sexual exploitation of a child. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers released the figures last week.

The attorney general credited HB-1011 -- a law initiated in May 2006 making it a felony to solicit a child online or possess child pornography -- as an important ingredient to prosecuting alleged offenders.

"In six short months, prosecutors have used these new laws to bring 58 charges against alleged perpetrators," Suthers said in the release. "These laws are an important new tool in protecting our children from Internet predators."

Detective Brian Steckler, of the Colorado Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said the new legislation makes authorities' job easier and it more difficult for "predators to victimize children."

Suthers made a campaign stop in Craig in October to visit the Boys & Girls Club and learn more about the club's Internet monitoring and computer filtering system.

He also spoke to local residents, campaign supporters and law enforcement officials about computer crimes, specifically those involving children.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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