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Demetriou's Legislation Would Protect Children From Online Threats

Requires Age Verification to View Pornography
October 11, 2023
Steve Demetriou News

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COLUMBUS – State Representatives Steve Demetriou (R-Bainbridge Township) has introduced legislation that would require a more rigorous age verification process to prevent minors from viewing sexually explicit material on the internet in Ohio. 

The Innocence Act would require any person in the state to verify their age prior to accessing pornographic websites and would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to view sexually explicit content. 

“Online pornography is a threat to Ohio children,” said Demetriou. “Studies have shown that pornography is a pathway to mental health issues for children and can be a precursor to sexual aggression. Additionally, it is no secret that the porn industry and human trafficking often overlap. The Innocence Act simply creates a common sense, age-appropriate barrier to ensure that Ohio children cannot access this harmful content with the tap of app on a smartphone.”

If this legislation is enacted, pornography distributors would be charged with a third-degree felony for failing to verify the age of a person accessing the adult content. If a minor attempts to access sexually explicit material by falsifying their identity would be charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor. 

The Innocence Act will also prohibit the sale of deepfakes, the manipulation of facial appearances through artificial intelligence to create visual and audio content, engaged in sexual acts. The dissemination of sexual deepfakes will be charged as a third-degree felony.