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Cox says child predator laws need to be updated

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network


LANSING, MI – Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox says more needs to be done to protect children from sexual predators who use Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites to meet their victims.

Using a computer to solicit a child to have sex is already a crime. But Attorney General Mike Cox says the 1994 statute does not reflect how child molesters have turned to social networking sites to make contact and gather information about prospective victims.

Cox says people who use the internet to solicit sex from a child should be on the state's sex offender registry. "You know, when we first started the sex registry, this crime didn't exist, so this is the next step," Cox says.

Cox says people on the registry because of a child sex crime should be banned from social networking sites. He also wants tougher penalties for people who possess or share large collections of child pornography.

Legislation to do all that has been introduced in the state Senate.

The attorney general is also running for the Republican nomination for governor.

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