The Iowa Attorney General’s office is asking state lawmakers to crack down on child pornography on the internet. The request follows an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that threw out multiple charges in a Marshall County case. A defendant was convicted of possessing a computer with hundreds of pornographic images of minors, but the high court ruled he was guilty of only one charge because the images appeared on only one computer.
A.G. spokesman Bob Brammer says that ties the hands of prosecutors. “Our goal here is to combat the saturation of child pornography on the internet with a possible criminal charge that much more realistically addresses the danger posed by offenders who have such big collections of pornographic images of children,” Brammer said.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is supporting a bill to change Iowa law on sexual exploitation of minors so that possession of a single pornographic image, not just possession of the computer, is a crime. The bill stalled in the Iowa House last year. Brammer says the law needs to be changed.
“We’re talking about it possibly being multiple offenses so prosecutors have a little bit of a stronger lever against people who traffic in pornographic images of children,” Brammer said. The Iowa Civil Liberties Union opposes the bill on free speech grounds.