Recent News Highlights The New Mexico State Senate Majority’s Failure To Close A Dangerous Loophole Concerning Child Pornography

Posted On July 7, 2015

Recent News Highlights The New Mexico State Senate Majority’s Failure To Close A Dangerous Loophole Concerning Child Pornography
Even Prominent Democrat Calls For Legislative Fix 

Albuquerque, NM- Local media broke a story about a school janitor, in direct contact with children, being apprehended for possession and distribution of child pornography. This continues a growing discussion of a dangerous loophole that New Mexico’s State Senate has refused to address.

“This past legislative session we could have made major progress on this issue, but a bipartisan solution fell victim to politics in the New Mexico State Senate,” said Pat Garrett, spokesman for the Republican Party of New Mexico. “Senator Michael Sanchez continues to ignore a loophole that leaves our children open to exploitation.”

Under current law, possession of child pornography is a maximum one-count sentence despite offenders possessing many images and videos of minors. Such a loophole puts our children at a dangerous risk.

Attorney General Hector Balderas, a prominent Democrat, said that the legislature should close this loophole and advocated for HB 440 during the last legislative session.

HB 440 would have closed this loophole and enacted tougher penalties on offenders.  Representatives Sarah Maestas Barnes, David Gallegos and Javier Martinez led a bipartisan effort to get the bill through the House with a unanimous vote. However, Senator Michael Sanchez chose to never bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.

“It is time for Michael Sanchez and Senate Democrats to finally take responsibility for this issue,” Garrett concluded.

Further background is below:

Recently In Las Cruces, A School Janitor Has Been Accused Of Possession And Distribution Of Child Pornography. “Authorities say a Las Cruces man who works as a janitor at an elementary school has been arrested on federal child pornography charges.” (“Cruces School Janitor Arrested On Child Porn Charges,” Associated Press, 7/6/15)

Yesterday, The Attorney General Told KOB That The Dangerous Child Pornography Loophole Must Be Closed. “New Mexico is the second most dangerous state in the country, we can’t grow jobs or improve education until our children are safe in their schools, our families are safe in their communities, and our officers aren’t subjected to dangerous repeat offenders out on the streets. It’s time to attack violent crimes, close the child pornography loophole, and take an actionable approach to fixing the systemic failures in our justice system.” (“Eye On NM: Attorney General Hector Balderas,” KOB, 7/6/15)

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