Congresswomen Deborah Ross (NC-02) and Claudia Tenney (NY-24) introduced the Parity for Child Exploitation Offenders Act to close loopholes for child predators by ensuring that existing enhanced penalties for sexual crimes involving children are applied equally to all sexual predators. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced companion legislation in the Senate. 

Under federal law, repeat child exploitation offenders routinely receive enhanced penalties for their crimes. However, current law contains a loophole allowing these offenders sentenced under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to receive lighter sentences, despite being engaged in the same conduct. 

“We owe it to survivors of child sexual abuse or exploitation who have endured unspeakable trauma to ensure their assailants face the full consequences of their actions,” said Congresswoman Ross. “This important legislation will address lingering loopholes in our criminal justice system that allow sexual predators who have been convicted by the Uniform Code of Military Justice to avoid mandatory federal sentencing. I am grateful for the leadership of Representative Tenney and Senators Rubio and Klobuchar and will continue working diligently with my colleagues to see this bill signed into law.”  

“Sexual predators who repeatedly abuse and exploit children must face heightened penalties for their heinous and unspeakable crimes,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “Currently, loopholes in our justice system fail to apply these enhanced penalties to all sexual crimes involving children. The Parity for Child Exploitation Offenders Act closes these loopholes to ensure repeat offenders of these horrific crimes face the same mandatory federal penalties. Thank you to Representative Ross and Senators Rubio and Klobuchar for joining me in these efforts to protect our children.”

“Those convicted of multiple child pornography and related offenses should face increased sentences. Ensuring that this loophole is closed is long overdue, and it is with great pride that I introduce this legislation with bipartisan and bicameral support. We must continue to work hard against the great evil of sexual abuse, especially relating to minors,” said Senator Rubio.

“Ensuring that all repeat sex offenders, including those with prior military convictions, are equally held responsible for their crimes and sentenced accordingly is of the utmost importance. The Parity for Recidivist Child Exploitation Offenders Act is a critical piece of legislation that will guarantee parity among state, federal, and UCMJ child exploitation convictions and send a clear message that such actions will not be tolerated. I am determined to ensure that every child sex offender is held to the same standard of accountability. This legislation is a powerful step in protecting our children and ensuring justice for survivors,” said Senator Gillibrand.