H.R. 6847 combines the language of four previously House-passed bills to close loopholes in child exploitation statutes. Specifically, the legislation
Closes a major loophole in the coverage of current laws relating to unlawful sexual conduct with minors during foreign travel and amends title 18, United States Code, to expand the definition of illicit sexual conduct to cover “sexual contact” in the context of foreign sex tourism as well as other crimes involving the transportation of minors. It also expands the definition of a federal sexual offense against a minor to include this sexual contact under the recidivism enhancement in 18 U.S.C. § 3559(e). (See H.R. 1862, which passed the House on May 22, 2017 by a vote of 372-20. The previous Legislative Digest can be found here);
Amends title 18, United States Code, to include State crimes of violence as grounds for an enhanced penalty when sex offenders fail to register or report certain information and amends federal law to provide consistency for the application of enhanced penalties to repeat offenders, when a previously committed offense fell under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). (See H.R. 1842, which passed the House on May 22, 2017 by a vote of 371-30-1. The previous Legislative Digest can be found here);
Amends a Federal statute against sexual exploitation of a minor to protect child pornography victims by closing a loophole that requires the Defendant to have specific intent to produce child pornography prior to abusing a child. (See H.R. 1761, which passed the House on May 25, 2017 by a vote of 368-51. The previous Legislative Digest can be found here); and
Reauthorizes programs established by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. (See H.R. 1188, which passed the House on May 22, 2017 by voice vote. The previous Legislative Digest can be found here). Specifically, Title II of the bill amends the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act to:
- Reauthorize no less than $80 million annually for the Sex Offender Management Assistance Program and the activities of the U.S. Marshals Service to locate and apprehend sex offenders who violate registration requirements through FY 2022
- Reduce the required registration period for certain juvenile delinquent sex offenders who maintain a clean record from 25 to 15 years
- Allow states to exempt information about juvenile delinquent sex offenders from disclosure on a public website
- Specify how to calculate the allocation of Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grant (JAG) program funds for local governments after a state’s JAG funds are reduced for failure to comply with sex offender registration and notification standards
- Establish an alternative verification methods for complying with the in-person verification requirement
- Codify 2016 Department of Justice regulations that, in certain circumstances, permit a state to be found to comply with Adam Walsh requirements even where the state has a discretional juvenile registry.
In addition, Title II amends the federal criminal code to:
- Modify the duties of probation and pretrial services officers to include the supervision of a sex offender conditionally released subject to court-ordered compliance with a prescribed regimen of medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment, when ordered by a court
- Extend the statute of limitations for a minor victim of federal sexual offense to file a civil action to 10 years (currently 3 years) from the date such individual reaches 18.