Teen victim touts law targeting sexual predators

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Legislators and advocates said the funding is needed so law-enforcement agencies can combat the growing child-pornography industry, estimated at $15 billion to $25 billion.

“The Internet connected up virtually every pedophile in the world. That didn’t just create a massive chat room, it created a marketplace,” said Grier Weeks, executive director of the National Association to Protect Children.

State Sen. Robert Creigh Deeds, Bath County Democrat, introduced similar legislation in the Senate, where it passed out of the Senate Courts of Justice committee yesterday afternoon and now heads to the Senate Finance Committee.

Mr. Deeds and Mr. Moran both are running for their party’s nomination for governor next year.

Supporters acknowledged that it would be difficult to secure the funding, given the bleak budget outlook and competing needs, such as reforming the state’s mental health system in the wake of April’s deadly shootings at Virginia Tech.

On the House side, Mr. Moran’s bill is co-sponsored by Delegate Beverly Sherwood, Winchester Republican, a member of the House Appropriations committee and one of the legislators who will determine the final two-year spending plan this session.

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