Senate Bill 2349, sponsored by Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi, D-Crest Hill,
and Rep. Maria Antonia Berrios, D-Chicago, creates the Illinois
Child Online Exploitation Act, adding restrictions to prohibit an
adult from sending a minor a public transportation ticket for an
unlawful purpose, prohibit meeting with a minor for an unlawful
purpose, and prohibit sex offenders from knowingly communicating
with a minor via the Internet or through digital media.
In addition, Senate Bill 2349 requires computer technicians to
report child pornography if they find it while performing their job,
tightens definitions on what is considered child pornography and
increases the conditions of supervision for sex offenders.
"The Internet can be a very scary place
for children. In preparing this legislation, I heard horrible
stories about adults using e-mail to invite children to come meet
them or to obtain child pornography," said Wilhelmi. "I thank the
governor and the General Assembly for helping to create the Illinois
Child Online Exploitation Act to better protect our children."
"While the Internet has brought new opportunities for
communication, it has also brought new opportunities for predators
to reach our children. With Internet providers' assistance, Illinois
will better be able to track sex offenders and keep them away from
our children," said Berrios.
The governor also signed Senate Bill 2855, sponsored by Sen.
Linda Holmes, D-Plainfield, and Rep. Sidney H. Mathias, R-Arlington
Heights, which stiffens penalties on adults who communicate online
with minors with the intent to harm or solicit sexual activity.
Under this new law, if an adult uses the Internet to communicate
with a child under 18 for sexual or detrimental purposes, they can
be charged with a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years
in prison. This includes attempts to use the Internet to pursue
sexual advances, sexual contact, bodily harm, sexual exploitation,
indecent solicitation, solicitation of a sexual act, solicitation of
a juvenile prostitute, pimping, child pornography and sexual
"I am proud to be the sponsor of legislation that will impose
harsher penalties on adults who use the Internet as a weapon against
children," said Holmes. "It is time that we crack down on adults who
visit sites like Facebook and MySpace in order to bully children. I
will continue to work to make our state a safer place for our
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"As a father and a grandfather, I understand the importance of
constantly protecting young children from the possibility of harm,"
said Mathias. "I am proud to be a part of passing this important
legislation, which is aimed at ensuring that adults who harass
children online will not go unpunished. We must continue to do all
we can to ensure that the tool of the Internet is used
In 2006, Blagojevich established the Internet Crimes Unit, which
has received 150 complaints of child victimization since its
inception. This is a unique enforcement group capable of educating
the public, gathering information from the private sector,
coordinating investigations with other law enforcement agencies,
researching crime, proactively searching the Web for criminal
activity and performing forensic work to further investigative
efforts and assist prosecutors in jailing offenders.
"Protecting our youth is a priority of the Illinois State Police,
and I applaud Gov. Blagojevich for signing these bills into law
today," said Larry Trent, Illinois State Police director. "Our
children will now have additional protection from online predators
who will face harsher penalties for their actions."
The Internet Crimes Unit serves as a point of contact for the
general public, schools and the law enforcement community for all
concerns regarding Internet safety and crimes like identity theft,
financial fraud and terrorism. The unit also serves as the initial
point of contact for citizen inquiries.
For more information on the Internet Crimes Unit, visit
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]