DeSantis signs measures that will target child predators

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed legislation meant to protect minors by targeting child predators.

One of the measures will establish a program to provide law enforcement with grants to conduct online sting operations.

“There is created within the department the Online Sting Operations Grant Program to award grants to local law enforcement agencies to support their creation of sting operations to target individuals online preying upon children or attempting to do so,” the measure reads. “The department shall annually award to local law enforcement agencies any funds specifically appropriated for the grant program to cover expenses related to computers, electronics, software, and other related necessary supplies.”

Another measure the governor signed declares it to be a third-degree felony for an adult to send sexual communications to a minor.

“An adult who engages in a pattern of communication to a minor that includes explicit and detailed verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual activity, sexual conduct, or sexual excitement and that is harmful to minors commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084,” the text declares. “A person’s ignorance of a minor’s age, a minor’s misrepresentation of his or her age, a bona fide belief of a minor’s age, or a minor’s consent may not be raised as a defense in a prosecution for a violation of this section.”

A Wednesday tweet on the @GovRonDeSantis X account declares, “Today I signed legislation to ensure grooming and other child-directed sexual offenses are punished severely. I will always stand to protect the innocence of children.”

“Thank you, @GovRonDeSantis, for protecting innocent children from predatory abuse and sexual exploitation,” Florida first lady Casey DeSantis said in a tweet.

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