New bill would require AL sex offenders to register Facebook pro - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

New bill would require AL sex offenders to register Facebook profiles

The father of an abducted 12 year old girl is working to change sex trafficking laws in Alabama.

Mark Klaas started the KlaasKids Foundation after the abduction and murder of his daughter, Polly, in 1993. Klaas is now working with Sen. Ben Brooks (R- Mobile) to strengthen penalties for sex offenders in Alabama. Brooks is the sponsor of SB-161.

Klaas said the bill would protect children by making existing laws harsher for offenders with previous convictions. Alabama would become only the second state to pass these tougher penalties.

"What it does is brings down the hammer on sex traffickers, the pimps. It creates longer prison sentences for them, it forces them to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. It forces them to pay restitution into a fund that will then fund services for victims of sex trafficking," said Klaas.

The bill would also force sex offenders to register their online presence, including social media profiles like Facebook and Twitter pages.

Brooks said the basic goal is to give investigators another tool for policing people who prey on kids.

"Too frequently we see these child sex predators using Internet providers as a way to entice or to connect with young people. Young people who are at a very vulnerable time in their lives," Brooks said. "We need to update our laws to provide additional registration protection in this field of social media."

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill and it will now go to the Senate floor.

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