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

By: - January 24, 2024 12:18 pm

Rep. Stephanie Dietz, R-Edgewood, sponsored a bill making it a felony to knowingly own or otherwise deal in child sex dolls and AI child pornography. (KET screenshot)

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

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 (KET Screenshot)

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. 

Mike Bowling (KET screenshot)

“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. 

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Sarah Ladd
Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd is a Louisville-based journalist from West Kentucky who's covered everything from crime to higher education. She spent nearly two years on the metro breaking news desk at The Courier Journal. In 2020, she started reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and has covered health ever since. As the Kentucky Lantern's health reporter, she focuses on mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, children's welfare, COVID-19 and more.

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