- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 14, 2018

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill prohibiting the importation and interstate sale of realistic sex dolls and robots designed to resemble children.

Introduced by Rep. Dan Donovan, New York Republican, the Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots Act of 2017, or “CREEPER Act,” would rein in the sale of so-called “child sex robots” if passed in the Senate and signed into law, putting the U.S. on path to potentially follow Australia and the U.K. in adopting similar measures.

The bill was proposed in December and garnered the support of 33 co-sponsors, nearly all Republicans, prior to being passed by a voice vote Wednesday.

“Right now, a few clicks on a computer can allow a predator to order a vile child sex doll. This is not only disturbing — but also endangers the most innocent among us,” said Mr. Donovan. “Once an abuser tires of practicing on a doll, it’s a small step to move on to a child. My bill takes necessary steps to stop these sickening dolls from reaching our communities.”

Manufactured in Asia and sold at prices ranging from roughly $400 to $10,000, the sex dolls can be custom designed to resemble specific children and “programmed to simulate rape,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, said during Wednesday’s debate.

“The very thought makes me nauseous,” said Mr. Goodlatte. “While a small group of people advocate for the use of these dolls to curb pedophilia, there is absolutely no scientific literature supporting this view. To the contrary, these dolls create a real risk of reinforcing pedophilic behavior, and they desensitize the user, causing him to engage in sicker and sicker behavior. They put our children in danger, and we must not tolerate them,”

“Science has shown that dolls normalize pedophilic behavior rather than discourage pedophiles from acting out on their urges or aggression,” agreed Mr. Donovan.

Democrats largely appeared skeptical, however, and only three — California Rep. Natette Diaz Barragan, New Hampshire Rep. Ann Kuster and New York Rep. Kathleen Rice — signed on as co-sponsored before the bill’s passage.

“We must protect our children everywhere from any and all bad actors who want to do them harm,” Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat, said during Wednesday’s debate. “I am concerned, however, that the majority has not given us sufficient time to properly consider this bill, its basis for making a correlation between the possession of obscene dolls and possession of child pornography and its relation to child abuse.”

“Those are important points, and I know that this bill has great intentions. We might have made it even greater,” she said.

The U.K. and Australia previously banned the importation of realistic child sex dolls, said Mr. Goodlatte, and Amazon announced in April that it would prohibit the sale of “anatomically correct child sex dolls,” according to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide