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Pedophile bill clears hurdle in Legislature

• Publishing children's photos so others can commit crimes would become misdemeanor.

Posted: April 30, 2008 1:13 a.m.
Updated: July 1, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
An anti-pedophile bill introduced by Assemblyman Cameron Smyth passed through the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, clearing what his staff calls a "major legislative hurdle."

Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, introduced the Surrogate Stalker Act in response to self-proclaimed pedophile Jack McClellan visiting the Santa Clarita Valley in 2007.

McClellan ran a Web site promoting pedophilia and showed pictures of children he had spotted in public places as he traveled through areas of Southern California, including Santa Clarita. McClellan, however, had not been convicted of a crime.

Assembly Bill 534 would make it a misdemeanor to engage in surrogate stalking, which Smyth said is the act of publishing photos, physical descriptions, and/or locations of children with the intent that another person uses the information to commit a crime.

"I am very pleased that my colleagues in the Senate Public Safety Committee understand the importance of this legislation," Smyth said in a statement. "As a father of two, nothing is more important to me than the safety of our children. This legislation will help ensure that our children can grow up in a society in which they can go to parks and amusement centers without the worry of being victimized by sexual predators."

Smyth first introduced the bill as urgency legislation in 2007, but the bill died in the Senate Rules Committee. Smyth's spokesman Ryan Flanigan said the bill is now headed for the Senate Appropriations Committee for review.

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