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Minutes for HB2001 - Committee on Judiciary

Short Title

Creating the crime of sexual extortion and requiring an offender to register under the Kansas offender registration act.

Minutes Content for Wed, Jan 20, 2021


Chairperson Patton opened the hearing on HB2001. Natalie Scott provided an explanation for HB2001. (Attachment 1) She stood for questions.

Kate Owen (Attachment 2) testified in support HB 2001 stating it is critical to ensuring that the laws of Kansas keep pace with the manner in which perpetrators are abusing victims. HB2001 creates a new statute to make clear that it is a crime not only to extort money or property, but also to extort sexual conduct and sexual images. This simple legislative fix ensures that victims can come forward and that perpetrators of sexual extortion will be held accountable in a manner that matches the harm they have caused.  Ms. Owen asked the committee for their support of the bill.

Greg Smith (Attachment 3) testified in support of HB2001 stating the number of calls for service that Johnson County has received for this type of activity has increased over the last 5 years. These calls ranged from cyber tips from the ICAC/National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to a parent contacting dispatch due to messages found on her daughter’s “Discord” app. Investigation found that this child had communications with multiple adult men on several other apps, including Snap Chat and Google Hangouts. HB2001 is another tool to combat cyber-crime of this nature. Mr. Smith and Johnson County Sheriff's Office support this bill and ask that the committee do so as well.

Sara Rust-Martin (Attachment 4) testified in support of HB2001. Ms. Rust-Martin explained Sexual Extortion is the abuse of power to obtain a sexual benefit or advantage and it can take many forms. For instance, Sexual Extortion can be achieved through threatening to share sexual images with a person’s employer, threatening to send such images to a family member, or threatening to post such images on social media. Also, perpetrators of Sexual Extortion can retrieve these private images by hacking phones and computers and then threatening to share the images unless sex is received. Ms. Rust-Martin and the organization she spoke on behalf of find it important to recognize that blackmail, coercion, and abuse of power are often used in cases of domestic violence and sexual violence to compel a victim to comply with the desires of the perpetrator making it critically important for all of us to recognize and acknowledge the many ways the wrongful acts of abuse of power can present themselves in the life of a victim.

Written Proponent

Ed Klumpp, Legislative Liaison, Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police, Kansas Sheriffs Association, Kansas Peace Officers Association (Attachment 5)