Listen to the interview here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03ggdg7
Alicia Kozakiewicz was 13 years old when she slipped out of home to meet someone she had been chatting to online. What followed was a nightmare. But Alicia has made it her mission to protect other children from what she went through, and has had a law named after her. Alicia's Law has now been adopted by several states in the US, and is designed to promote funding for teams that go in search of children who have gone missing after being groomed on the internet. Alicia tells Jo Fidgen why she's now campaigning for the rest of the states to take it up.
Listen to the interview here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03ggdg7
Wisconsin lawmakers are moving quickly to pass a bill that would expand law enforcement officers' ability to investigate and prosecute those who commit internet crimes against children.
The bill, introduced Monday, would create a dedicated revenue source to fund the state Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children task force and includes a provision designed to speed up the process through which investigators can track down the source of the criminal activity.
The effort is part of a national push to create dedicated funding sources at the state level for law enforcement units that deal with child exploitation. This bill, like similar ones in other states, is called Alicia's Law. The legislation is named for Alicia Kozakiewicz, who survived being abducted and sexually abused on film when she was 13.
Kozakiewicz, who now advocates for internet safety, was at the state Capitol Wednesday with bill authors Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, and Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, and Attorney General Brad Schimel. The bill was given a public hearing in Senate and Assembly committees on Wednesday.
Under the bill, any person in Wisconsin convicted of a crime would be required to pay an internet crimes against children surcharge — $20 for a misdemeanor conviction and $40 for a felony conviction. Schimel said the surcharge would generate an estimated $2.2 million in funding.
The bill would also allow the attorney general, or his or her designee, to issue an administrative subpoena to an internet service provider to compel the provider to release information that could aid an investigation of internet crimes against a child.
Kozakiewicz was found because her captor, whom she had met in an internet chat room, broadcast footage of her being sexually abused and a viewer recognized her photo from a missing person photo. The viewer tipped the FBI, and officials were able to identify her abuser by his IP address. She was rescued after four days.
Time is of the essence in these situations, she and Schimel said, arguing the subpoena power can help shorten the time it takes to track down an IP address and determine which county's law enforcement agency should take the case.
The attorney general could request the subpoena be kept confidential until all relevant documents were produced, and the internet service provider would be able to go to court to try to limit or quash the subpoena.
The bill has bipartisan support, but several Democrats on the Assembly criminal justice committee questioned the creation of the surcharge.
Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, questioned why the bill didn't request the funds come from a budget appropriation instead, noting that money from the state budget would be more reliable as a steady funding source than someone recently convicted of a crime.
Kleefisch said he would be happy to introduce a budget amendment requesting state funds in the next budget cycle, but argued the bill wouldn't make it to Gov. Scott Walker's desk this session if the funds were requested that way now.
"It's a priority for me ... to get it to the governor's desk," Kleefisch said. "This is one of the most steadfast, quickest ways to do that."
The Department of Justice estimates at least 4,000 internet connections in Wisconsin are used to trade child pornography, Schimel said.
By: Jessie Opoien, The Capital Times
Read full article: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/wisconsin-lawmakers-move-quickly-on-bill-aimed-at-fighting-internet/article_33506ad9-dbf4-56c6-bc85-fd6b4010ce53.html
MADISON (WKOW) – State lawmakers and authorities are joining a national push to fight crimes against children online.
Committees in the State Assembly and State Senate discussed Alicia's Law at the State Capitol on Wednesday.
The bill is named after Alicia Kozakiewicz, a woman who was abused by a pedophile after being lured by an internet predator when she was 13.
Officials say it would give authorities a source of money from the state to find and arrest pedophiles.
“We owe it to our children to do all we can to prevent predators from getting their hands on children, and to end the suffering of those who are already being abused,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel.
“The child that I was is still chained in that room, and is still suffering,” said Alicia Kozakiewicz. “But I am here and I am alive today because child rescue teams like the Wisconsin Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force existed.”
Right now, a version of Alicia's Law is in place in seven states.
The bills being proposed in Wisconsin would need to pass the Senate and Assembly committees before going up for a full vote
By: Carissa Casarez
Read full article: http://www.wkow.com/story/30960601/2016/01/13/lawmakers-and-state-authorities-make-push-for-alicias-law-in-wisconsin
MADISON -- Wisconsin lawmakers heard harrowing testimony from a survivor of sexual exploitation Wednesday as part of an effort to funnel more resources to police who investigate Internet crimes against children.
Two legislative committees held hearings on the bill, known as "Alicia's Law." It would impose a fee on people convicted of crimes and direct the money to investigations, while allowing police to more easily get an administrative subpoena and learn who owns a suspected IP address.
Alicia Kozakiewicz, who was abducted and abused for four days in 2002 before police found her in Virginia, shared her story with committee members and urged them to pass the legislation.
"It's not easy to share," Alicia Kozakiewicz said. "I was that terrified young girl who was lured from my home, taken across state lines, chained by the neck, forced into a disgusting basement dungeon, and tortured."
Her abductor posted videos of the sexual abuse online, where a viewer saw it and contacted police. Officers used the abductor's IP address to track Kozakiewicz down.
Kozakiewicz has since become an advocate and the namesake of "Alicia's Law." Similar legislation has passed in 11 states and three other legislatures are considering versions of it this year, said Camille Cooper, a national advocate.
Police who handle Internet crimes against children in Wisconsin say they lack manpower and technological resources to handle more than a fraction of the cases.
"We'd definitely like more resources, hardware and time to train to be able to keep up," testified Jason Falkner, an officer with the Town of Summit Police Department. Falkner said he's handled six cases in his first two years in the program.
Two Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee voiced concerns with the funding mechanism within the bill.
The legislation would tack a $20 fee on any misdemeanor conviction, and a $40 fee on felony convictions. Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, said she doubted the state would get much money from the surcharge because many criminals can't pay the fees that are currently assessed.
"When we do a surcharge, it sounds good. But the problem is, we have an inability to collect ," Taylor said. She said she was still a supporter of the bill, but wanted the funding to come from the state budget instead.
Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, said he hadn't yet decided how he would vote because of the surcharge issue. Risser asked the Legislature's council to provide a list of all fees that the state adds to criminal fines. The data wasn't immediately provided.
Advocates for the bill said Virginia assesses a $15 fee on all misdemeanors and convictions, and has netted $3.4 million a year dedicated to investigations of Internet crimes against children.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel testified in favor of the legislation, saying that it would "help ensure" that investigators would have more resources to do their work.
A companion bill received a hearing in an Assembly committee. Neither committee has voted on the legislation.
By: Theo Keith, Political Reporter, FOXNews6
Read full article: http://fox6now.com/2016/01/13/victim-begs-lawmakers-to-pass-bill-that-would-help-police-pursue-internet-crimes-against-children/