H.R. 1862 increases the coverage of current laws relating to unlawful sexual conduct with minors during foreign travel. Under current law, certain types of sexual contact are not covered under the criminal definition of “illicit sexual conduct.” This bill expands the definition to include this sexual contact, so that offenders who commit this type of contact abroad, cannot evade prosecution. Current law also fails to include certain conduct in the definition of “Federal sex offense” for purposes of the recidivist enhancement. Under 18 U.S.C. § 3559(e) a person who commits a “federal sex offense” against a minor is subject to an enhancement of mandatory life imprisonment where they have a prior sex conviction in which the victim was a minor. Missing from this definition is aggravated sexual contact with a child and the statute prohibiting foreign sex tourism. This bill fixes this unintended loophole.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 22, 2017.
(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)
Global Child Protection Act of 2017
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the federal criminal code to broaden the definition of "illicit sexual conduct" to include any conduct involving a minor (currently, a sexual act with a minor) that would be a sex abuse offense if it occurs inside the United States. A minor is a person under 18 years of age.
(Sec. 3) Additionally, the bill broadens the federal sex offenses that trigger a mandatory life prison term for a defendant with a prior sex offense conviction involving a minor victim. Specifically, it adds to the list of federal sex offenses:
abusive sexual contact that constitutes either a sexual act with a person under the age of 12 or aggravated sexual abuse of a person between the ages of 12 and 16, and illicit sexual conduct during foreign travel.