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Online Predators Grant Proposal Seeks to Create Task Force

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/onlinepred_334.mp3

An online sexual predators grant proposal calls for the creation of a task force to bait and capture sexual predators. KSMU's Christy Hendricks reports.

Missouri State Senator John Loudon will introduce a proposal to create and train a task force to capture online sexual predators.

Loudon outlined his proposal at a press conference at the Child Advocacy Center in Springfield on Friday.

Gary McElyea is the spokesperson for the Loudon campaign.

He says statistics show the legislation is needed in Missouri.

McElyea says the creation of a task force will help monitor online predator activity.

The proposal calls for three to five million dollars set aside for the program by the House and Senate appropriations committees.

Missouri has been recognized as having weaker penalties for sexual offenders than others states.

Currently the punishment for using the Internet to entice a child is considered a class C felony with one to seven years in prison.

Senator Loudon has introduced a separate bill to increase the penalty to five to 15 years in prison as a class B felony.

State Representative Bob Dixon of Springfield is introducing similar legislation in the House.