New anti-grooming law to close legal loophole

Monday, August 1, 2011

After three years of discussion in congress, Chile has passed a new anti-grooming law that will penalize the use of "any electronic media" for the sexual harassment of minors, child pornography and possession of virtual child pornography.

Under the law, offenders could receive up to five years in prison if they send, deliver or show images of self or others under the age of 14 with sexual content, even if this act is done remotely or by the use of any electronic tool.

According to one of the authors of the new law, senator Patricio Walker, with the new legislation "we are taking a step forward to close the gaps for adults who chat with minors online," as grooming is the first step to actual physical abuse.

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"There are many cases investigated by the police that could not be prosecuted because of this legal loophole," he told radio BioBio.