|Updated: 4/16 2:19 pm
||Published: 3/28 11:05 pm
A local effort by a Tulsa senator and an advocate against child sex trafficking to fund an agency that fights against child sex crimes is moving through the state legislature.
Senator Dan Newberry authored Senate Bill 1002 that will create a direct line of funding to agencies fighting against child sex crimes like the Internet Crimes Against Children Oklahoma Task Force.
The bill would add a $10 fine to every misdemeanor and felony ticket in the state; then that money would get divided up among the ICAC’s agencies: $5.00 would go to ICAC; $2.00 would go to CART (Child Abuse Response Teams) they work in conjunction with ICAC; $2.00 will go to a special District Attorney’s fund to prosecute these guys. Some DAs may not be specialized in processing the sex crime.
“The intent here is to raise the dollars, the ability to give the agents with the tools necessary and go after the perpetrators,” said Senator Newberry. “The whole $10, the global package, will be expected to generate at least $3 million a year, which is a small price to pay to protect the innocence and the lives of these children.”
Jason Weis is local advocate against child sex trafficking. He kickstarted this bill’s legislation in October after researching that agencies like ICAC lacked the funding for resources and man-power. Weis co-founded the Demand Project. It's an organization that fights against the sexual exploitation of children.
“I’m a father of two kids, I’ve never been abused, I’m just a citizen who cannot stand to sit by and just read about these terrifying crimes against innocent children go on.”
20-year-old Tori Waite has also become a supporter of SB 1002.
“When I was young I was molested by the men in my life,” said Waite.
She soon got in touch with Weis and told Weis her story. Waite’s mother was also a victim of child sexual exploitation and a victim of domestic violence as an adult.
“My daughter is so strong and I know this chain of sexual violence will stop with her,” said Emilee Waite.
“I am healthy now and I feel healed,” said Tori Waite. “I do not want to be seen as a victim, but as a survivor. I want this bill to pass because I wish there had been more funding for these agencies when I needed it.”
Senator Newberry and Weis are encouraging you to call your local representative with any concerns or to show your support and have them call the appropriations and budget committees.
Senator Newberry can be reached at his office at: 405-521-5600