Santa Fe, NM – Today, Democrat Representatives Moe Maestas and Eliseo Alcon joined Senate Boss Michael Sanchez by opposing new legislation that would protect New Mexico’s children from sexual predators. In a House Judiciary Committee hearing on a bill that would close a dangerous child pornography loophole, both representatives voted against the bill.
Even worse, Maestas downplayed the seriousness of the crime, saying, “The worst crimes should get the worst penalties. … You’re asking us to make [child porn] the worst crime in the criminal code.”
The bill, sponsored by Republican Reps. Sarah Maestas Barnes and Randal Crowder would allow an individual found in possession of child porn to be charged on multiple counts, one for each image they possess. Currently, there is no legal distinction between someone found with one image and someone found with thousands of images.
During the hearing, there was testimony from the Attorney General’s office that some of the images they’ve seized include horrific acts of rape and torture of children as young as two years old. Testimony also showed that the state’s weak laws are encouraging more child pornographers to move here.
“When Democrats vote against desperately needed legislation protecting our children and Senate Democrat leaders like Sanchez kill legislation that’s tougher on child porn, its clear to New Mexicans that the Democrat party doesn’t have a child’s interests at heart,” said Keene. “Protecting children from violent predators and sexual exploitation is extremely important even if Democrats don’t agree.”
Similar legislation easily passed the House last session, but died in Senator Sanchez’s chamber.