Senate approves bill enabling use of wiretap law to catch child predators
Mike Seals - March 8, 2021 11:00 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, has won unanimous Senate approval for legislation to give law enforcement another tool to fight child predators. Senate Bill 980 would amend state law for obtaining a court order for a wiretap to include crimes related to child sexual exploitation.
Weaver said in the last 12 months alone, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit received 4,207 cybertip reports of child sexual exploitation. According to the OSBI, 3,681 of these tips involved child pornography, 194 were reports of online enticement of children for sexual acts and 39 reported child sex trafficking or child sex tourism.
“There is no question in my mind that this is a growing crime that’s getting worse every single year, and it’s happening in communities throughout our state,” Weaver said. “The emotional and psychological damage it does to children can last a lifetime. This legislation will modernize our statutes, giving law enforcement an invaluable tool to identify predators and bring them to justice before they can harm another child.”
SB 980 would amend Oklahoma’s Security of Communications Act to add child sexual exploitation, permitting child sexual exploitation, and soliciting sexual conduct or communication with a minor by use of technology to the crimes for which law enforcement can seek a court order authorizing the interception of wire, oral or electronic communications.
SB 980 now moves to the House for further consideration. Rep. Rande Worthen, R-Lawton, is the House principal author of the measure.
For more information, contact Sen. Darrell Weaver at 405-521-5569 or email [email protected].