Aiona signs 2 new laws to protect minors
The legislation deals with Internet predators and exposing children to illegal drugs
Sexual predators who seek out minors using the Internet now face a mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison under legislation signed by acting Gov. James "Duke" Aiona.
The legislation was among two measures approved by Aiona yesterday that aim to protect children from the hazards of the Internet and dangerous drugs.
Under House Bill 3040, courts must impose a 10-year prison sentence on predators who communicate electronically with a child under 18, or someone they believe is a minor, with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
The measure also creates a new misdemeanor offense for offenders who use a computer to transmit sexually inappropriate images to minors using a computer.
"The new law sends a clear message to these predators: Law enforcement agents are looking for you, and if you are convicted you will receive a 10-year prison sentence," Attorney General Mark Bennett said.
The other measure, HB 2346, takes effect July 1, and makes it illegal to cause a minor to inhale, ingest or inject a dangerous drug. It stems from incidents of young children found and removed from clandestine meth labs, where they were exposed to ingredients of the drug, officials said.
Aiona signed the legislation in the absence of Gov. Linda Lingle, who is traveling back to Hawaii from a conference in Israel.