Gov. Chris Christie today signed a bill that significantly strengthens New Jersey's child pornography laws, bringing them closer to much tougher federal laws.
The new law imposes mandatory minimum prison sentences for those convicted of distributing 25 or more pornographic images of children. A first-time offender will serve at least five years and repeat offenders up to 10 years.
Christie's office was in charge of prosecuting federal child pornography cases when he was the state's U.S. Attorney from 2002-08.
"I was always shocked to see some of our defendants get years or even decades in federal prison while some of the same criminal violations at the state level would result in no jail time," Christie said in a statement. "These are among the most abhorrent crimes imaginable, in which digital images are made available to a worldwide audience of remorseless creators and consumers of these vile images of mere children. This is permanent victimization of a child or youthful victim already subjected to horrifying abuse."
The measure (S2493) passed both houses of the state Legislature with no opposition.