|For Immediate Release
September 20, 2006
Public Affairs Counsel
(714) 347-8408 Office
(714) 292-2718 Cell
REMARKS BY DISTRICT ATTORNEY TONY RACKAUCKAS ON SB1128
I applaud the Governor for signing SB1128. It is a much-needed reform for California to protect our children. We finally join 43 other states and the federal government in making possession of child pornography a felony.
I have been working with Orange County lawmakers to make possessing child pornography a felony. In 2003 and 2005, the Orange County District Attorney’s office sponsored bills to upgrade the crime of possession of child pornography to a felony.
California now expressly recognizes that modern technology and the Internet help proliferate these crimes. Sexual deviants trade these images like baseball cards. Every time someone views the images, the child depicted is victimized again.
We had a case in Orange County of a man who possessed over 80,000 pictures and movies depicting graphic, sexual images of young children. I have been frustrated that California law classified that crime as a misdemeanor.
There is no justifiable reason to possess child porn. The misdemeanor penalty was illogical because the act plays such an integral part in showing the defendants’ state of mind and motive.
We know that many deviants use child pornography to fuel their disturbing sexual fantasies. The man who kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered Samantha Runnion was an avid collector of child pornography. In a pending case, a husband and wife are charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a toddler relative. Police found “a little chest of horrors” where they kept their cache of child pornography. One of the victims on the tapes was an 8-month-old baby.
We should continue to make California a miserable place for child molesters and pornographers.