Group of women says sex predator laws need to be updated

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A group of women that have had explicit pictures taken of them told lawmakers on Monday that the people who do it need to be more harshly punished.

The women ranged from teenagers to a former TV news anchor.

“You feel a loss of control of your own life,” said Christa Dubill. “So what was really beautiful today to see, you see a couple of teenage girls and a couple of moms sort of take control back, to take something that was horrible and to try to make a change for the better,” she said.

Dubill had a man try to take a picture of her while she was wearing a skirt in a grocery store. Other incidents happened while women were changing in a store dressing room.

The women shared their experiences with legislators on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I think it’s super easy to be silenced by this kind of thing, like it’s obviously pretty traumatic,” said 17-year-old Emily. “Being able to turn it into a good thing and help the next victim be aware. Just raising the signs so people aren’t voiceless, they know that this is happening to them, and they know they can make a change and put bad people away.”

Lawmakers listened to similar stories from other victims.

“Once those images are out there, they can immediately be uploaded and distributed to different outlets, so your private self is now exposed to the entire world, this is not good,” said Olathe Senator Julia Lynn.

Current law only says that that crime would just be a breach of privacy. The new bill would add to the punishment, making the person have to register as a sex offender.

“Basically what this does is bring this law into the 21st century where everyone has a cellphone, and secretly recording someone that’s half nude or fully nude is very different than wiretapping someone’s phone,” Dubill said.

The bill now heads to the full Senate and could be worked next week. If passed, it would head to the House.

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