Bill criminalizing child sex dolls, deep fake child porn advances in Kentucky legislature

Published 2:09 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2024

By Sarah Ladd

Kentucky Lantern

Knowingly owning or selling  child sex dolls would become a felony in Kentucky under a Republican bill that unanimously passed a House committee Wednesday.

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The bill also criminalizes the use of artificial intelligence to create child pornography or to create fake images that use real children as the source, said the sponsor, Rep. Stephanie Dietz, R-Edgewood.

House Bill 207 would make knowingly owning, selling or otherwise offering a child sex doll a Class D felony.

The bill would also make it a Class C felony to bring a child sex doll — defined as a “doll, mannequin or robot that is intended for sexual stimulation or gratification and that has the features of, or has features that resemble those of, a minor — into Kentucky with plans to sell or otherwise distribute it.

Jeremy Murrell, the deputy commissioner for counter exploitation in the attorney general’s office, said the bill “closes a current loophole” in dealing with child predators.

“When law enforcement discovers one of these (child sex) dolls, there’s no question, no gray area of what this type of doll is made for and what it’s used for,” he said, adding that people who “utilize or abuse these dolls also go on to be hands-on offenders, if they haven’t done so already.”

Lieutenant Mike Bowling, the commander of the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch and the statewide Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said predators and potential predators can “take advantage of the new technology that’s out there.”

“AI is here,” said Bowling, adding that people can create images that cater to body type, hair color, size and age. They can also “nudify” images of real people.

“I think a deep fake image is extremely, extremely dangerous,” said Bowling. “Because you can take an application or a program on the internet, you can load a picture into it of somebody that you know and create a nude image of what AI would say that person would look like nude.”

Dietz’s bill would be a “great deterrent” for people inflicting this “psychological” damage on children, Bowling told committee members.

The bill passed 19-0 out of committee and can proceed to the House floor.