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Committee to consider bills on child porn, human trafficking

The South Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee will consider two bills relating to human trafficking and child pornography today. Senate Bill 169, which was proposed by Sen. Ried Holien, R-Watertown, and Rep. Scott Craig, R-Rapid City, would revise ...

The South Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee will consider two bills relating to human trafficking and child pornography today.

Senate Bill 169, which was proposed by Sen. Ried Holien, R-Watertown, and Rep. Scott Craig, R-Rapid City, would revise existing legislation to strengthen the penalty for selling or displaying for sale materials depicting a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act or sexual activity involving nudity.

Currently, a person convicted of selling or displaying for-sale material featuring child pornography is found guilty of a Class 6 felony, but the revised bill would raise the charge to a Class 4 felony. While those found guilty of a Class 6 felony can receive maximum sentences of two years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000, a Class 4 felony carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine.

Senate Bill 168, which was also proposed by prime sponsors Holien and Craig, would alter the state's human trafficking laws.

Current South Dakota law charges anyone found guilty of committing human trafficking involving a kidnapping, a victim under the age of 16, a case involving prostitution or resulting in the victim's death with a Class 2 felony. If SB 168 makes it through committee, the Senate and House of Representatives, a first-degree human trafficking offense would include victims under the age of 18.

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The bills will be heard during an 8 a.m. meeting at the Capitol along with two other bills. The other two bills include Senate Bill 163, which would require the disclosure of contracts with the state that cumulatively exceed $50,000, and Senate Bill 89 would revise provisions related to carrying a concealed weapon.

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