Bill on Gov. Abbott’s desk will toughen online solicitation laws

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A bill created to protect children from online predators will now go to Gov.Greg Abbott for his signature. SB 344 and HB 861 was created to narrow down certain legal definitions involving minors who are solicited online to meet for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual conduct.

Currently, it is illegal to send a graphic picture or arrange a meeting, but an adult talking to a child in a sexual way is legal. Rep. Tony Dale, R-Cedar Park, created the legislation because he wants to change that and make sexual conversations to be against the law as well as give police the ability to do undercover sting operations.

“The use of the Internet by sexual predators is a serious issue. This bill will fill gaps in the law that currently allows predators to groom minors for illicit purposes. Although part of the law was struck down, there is still a compelling need to prosecute predators who attempt to solicit minors for unlawful activity. My bill puts the law back on the side of the victims and law enforcement,” said Dale in a statement. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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