New law means more tools to fight internet child porn - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New law means more tools to fight internet child porn

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- State Police call internet child pornography the fastest growing crime in Kentucky. Now police will have more resources as they try to hit “delete” on the problem.

WDRB watched as a forensic investigator performed an autopsy - on a laptop. If there are illegal images of child porn on its hard drive, he'll find them.

“We're looking for evidence, just in a different kind of way,” said Lt. Jeremy Murrell, commander of the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crimes Unit.

Nine people, including four detectives, make up the Internet Crimes Against Children or ICAC unit. They team with other agencies across the state to track down child predators.

“We're working the file sharing networks, called peer to peer, and we're looking for people that are advertising known child exploitative images to download,” said Murrell.

The unit is paid for primarily with federal funds, but will soon get an infusion of state dollars.

“We'd like to grow our task force. We'd like to get more people involved,” Murrell said.

The General Assembly passed, and the governor has now signed HB 427, Alicia's Law; named after Alicia Kozakiewicz.

She was abducted by an Internet stalker, at age 13, bound, raped and tortured.

“But I was miraculously rescued because of the FBI; because they had the funding and the resources to find and rescue me,” Kozakiewicz told WDRB in February before successfully testifying in front of a House committee.

The law adds a $10 fine to every criminal conviction in Kentucky, with the money going to ICAC.

Supporters say it could amount to $3 million a year. It means more personnel, more training and more equipment.

“To combat this problem, we need the best computers there are. And those aren't cheap,” said Murrell.

The unit has made 20 arrests so far this year, already more than last year.

The increased funding sends a clear message that Kentucky is serious about internet crimes involving children.

“Every arrest we make, in my opinion, rescues a child,” said Murrell.

This is one issue where Kentucky is on the cutting edge: it's just the ninth state to adopt Alicia's Law.

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