A Texas State Representative is pushing to close a loophole in the law designed to protect people from being victimized by predators online.
“The perpetrator uses non-physical forms of coercion such as blackmail to acquire sexual content… either photos or video of a child or an adult… to obtain money, or to engage in sex with the victim” State Representative Tony Dale said during a Monday Morning press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin.
“This new bill addresses a gap in law where it is currently not illegal to threaten or extort people to provide such material” Dale said, adding “If such material is published–as I said, that’s already illegal–but blackmailing people today for these purposes is not specifically illegal.”
Investigators will tell you the online anonymity provided by social media continues to be a big challenge to them in protecting potential victims from harm.
“You can be who you want to be, and unfortunately our children may start chatting with these individuals… believing they are one of their peers” said Captain Jerry Medders with the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
Dale is pushing for his bill to get a hearing before a Texas House committee.