New federal law targets sex predators

Updated: Dec. 7, 2012 at 11:09 PM CST
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Austin, TX - Sexual predators and human traffickers are the targets of a newly enacted federal law that came from a Texas lawmaker.

Earlier today, President Obama signed Senator John Cornyn's Child Protection Act of 2012 into law.

The aim is to take a more aggressive stance against sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

Senator Cornyn introduced the act, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott supported the bill, which passed the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

The new law raises the maximum sentence for child pornography from ten to twenty years, and gives judges authority to issue protective orders for child witnesses.

In a press release from the attorney general's office, Senator Cornyn is quoted as saying,

"We need to provide law enforcement with every tool they need to crack down on the most vile criminals ... And protect the innocent young people who fall victim to these heinous crimes."

The law also renews funding for various programs that target sex predators, including Abbott's Cyber Crimes Unit.

According to the AG'S office, investigators have made more than 1,500 arrests since the program's inception in 2003.

Abbott has long advocated for stronger enforcement and sentencing for crimes against children.

Last year, Governor Rick Perry enacted two new laws aimed at human trafficking.

Fully a quarter of all the human trafficking in the U.S. takes place in Texas.

If you'd like to read the new law in its entirety, you'll find that and two more articles attached to this story.