If Passed, Bill Provides Resources to Seek Out and Arrest Those Who Rape, Torture, and Sexually Abuse Children

 Representative Paul Boyer has introduced legislation with 79 co-sponsors that would aid in the rescue of children who are being sexually exploited by online predators.  HB2517 would enable the state to hire 25 to 30 full-time investigators and forensic examiners to augment an Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) task force to find and prosecute those who rape, torture and sexually abuse children.  The $5 million in funding would come from the Lottery Commission. According to experts, Arizona has 15,000 unique IP addresses showing people trading child pornography online, and with each lead comes a high probability that the child or children involved are being raped and molested.  Currently, Arizona has only four full-time investigators who proactively investigate these horrors.  One highly-trained and properly equipped ICAC investigator can handle 25-30 cases per year. “This bill if passed, would literally aid in the rescue of children who are being tortured and sexually abused, and will help children from falling into the hands of sexual predators,” said Representative Paul Boyer.  “The ICAC task force in Arizona made 215 arrests and rescued 70 children from rape, torture and sexual abuse in 2014. Just think how many more kids we can save with these additional resources.” A record snapshot shows that on January 15 – less than one week ago – on one file sharing network, in one minute, detectives were able to identify 28 suspects living in a single city in Maricopa County, trading child pornography.  All of the victims involved were infants to children eight years of age. None of these cases are being investigated right now.  National studies show that the average offender has 14-23 victims before they are caught.  In Arizona, roughly 60-65 percent of all victims are pre-pubescent, with another 9 percent infants.  Because of their young ages, most victims do not or cannot report abuse.  The bill requests $4.5 million to fund the task force, and $500,000 for a victim’s fund.