Prosecutor wants Alaska child porn law expanded

Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ANCHORAGE - A prosecutor and some state legislators support expanding Alaska's child pornography law to include sexually explicit images of children who are not real.

The idea to criminalize the possession of such drawings and computer-generated cartoons figures to pit free speech advocates against those who want to protect kids.

Prosecutor Aaron Sperbeck told the Anchorage Daily News the "fight needs to happen" because computer-generated images are almost as disturbing as those involving real children.

"These are not funny little cartoons," said Sperbeck, the crimes-against-children prosecutor in the Anchorage District Attorney's Office.

Police say traffic in online child pornography has increased in recent years. In Alaska, a task force arrests about two dozen people a year on possession charges, but investigators say they are only catching a tiny portion of the state's offenders. Police try to target the worst of the worst, said Sgt. Ron Tidler, head of the Cyber Crimes Unit at the Anchorage Police Department.

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