Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

115th Congress    }                                    {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                    {       115-627

======================================================================



 
                      COMBAT ONLINE PREDATORS ACT

                                _______
                                

 April 10, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Goodlatte, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4203]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 4203) to amend title 18, United States Code, with 
regard to stalking, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     1
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     4
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     4
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     4
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     4
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     5

                             The Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Combat Online Predators Act''.

SEC. 2. ENHANCED PENALTY FOR STALKERS OF CHILDREN.

  (a) In General.--Chapter 110A of title 18, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting after section 2261A the following:

``Sec. 2261B. Enhanced penalty for stalkers of children

  ``If the victim of an offense under section 2261A is under the age of 
18 years, the maximum imprisonment for the offense is 5 years greater 
than the maximum term of imprisonment otherwise provided for that 
offense in section 2261.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 110A of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting 
after the item relating to section 2261A the following new item:

``2261B. Enhanced penalty for stalkers of children.''.

  (c) Conforming Amendment.--Section 2261A of title 18, United States 
Code, is amended by striking ``section 2261(b) of this title'' and 
inserting ``section 2261(b) or section 2262B, as the case may be''.

SEC. 3. REPORT ON BEST PRACTICES REGARDING ENFORCEMENT OF ANTI-STALKING 
                    LAWS.

  Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Attorney General shall submit a report to Congress, which shall--
          (1) include an evaluation of Federal, tribal, State, and 
        local efforts to enforce laws relating to stalking; and
          (2) identify and describe those elements of such efforts that 
        constitute the best practices for the enforcement of such laws.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 4203 enhances current federal anti-stalking laws by 
increasing the criminal penalty by up to an additional five 
years when the victim is a minor. The legislation also requires 
the Department of Justice to evaluate enforcement of stalking 
laws at the local and federal level and identify and describe 
best practices for enforcing such laws. Published best 
practices will be beneficial to prosecutors in securing 
convictions in these notoriously difficult cases.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    In 1996, Congress passed an anti-stalking law as part of 
the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Under this law, it is a 
federal felony to cross state lines to stalk or harass an 
individual if the conduct causes fear of serious bodily injury 
or death to the stalking victim or to the victim's immediate 
family members. It is also a federal felony to stalk or harass 
on military or U.S. territorial lands, including Indian 
country.\1\ However, there is no provision in the current 
statute that allows an elevated penalty when the victim is a 
minor. Moreover, because stalking cases are difficult to 
prosecute, it would be useful for prosecutors to have access to 
materials establishing best practices in these types of cases.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\18 U.S.C. Sec. 2261A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                Hearings

    There was no hearing held on H.R. 4203; however, the 
Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on crimes against 
children on March 16, 2017. Testimony was received from John 
Shehan, Vice President, Exploited Children Division, National 
Center for Missing and Exploited Children; Ms. Francey Hakes, 
Consultant & Child Protection Advocate, Former Assistant United 
States Attorney, Former National Coordinator for Child 
Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction; Detective Patrick 
Beaver, Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, Member of the Internet 
Crimes Against Children Task Force; and, Ms. Nicole Pittman, 
Vice President and Director of the Center on Youth Registration 
Reform, Impact Justice.

                        Committee Consideration

    On November 2, 2017, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the bill (H.R. 4203) favorably reported, with an 
amendment, by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that there 
were no recorded votes during the Committee's consideration of 
H.R. 4203.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 3249, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, November 29, 2017.
Hon. Bob Goodlatte, Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4203, the Combat 
Online Predators Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Janani 
Shankaran, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
Enclosure
        cc: Democratic Staff




                 H.R. 4203--Combat Online Predators Act


As ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on November 
                                2, 2017




    H.R. 4203 would add five years to the maximum prison 
sentence for stalking minors. As a result, new offenders could 
face longer prison sentences. The bill would require the 
Department of Justice (DOJ) to report to the Congress on 
federal, state, tribal, and local efforts to enforce laws 
related to stalking. Based on its analysis of similar DOJ 
tasks, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost less 
than $500,000 in 2018. CBO expects that any costs to the 
federal prison system resulting from longer sentences would be 
incurred after 2022; any such spending would be subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    Enacting H.R. 4203 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4203 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 4203 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Janani 
Shankaran. The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 4203 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee finds that H.R. 4203 contains no directed 
rule making within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. Sec. 551.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee states that H.R. 4203 
enhances federal anti-stalking law by providing for up to a 
five-year sentencing enhancement when the victim is a minor, 
and also requires the Attorney General to issue a report 
regarding best practices for prosecuting stalking cases at the 
state, local, tribal, and Federal levels.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 4203 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of Rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1. Short Title. Section 1 sets forth the short 
title of the bill as the ``Combat Online Predators Act.''
    Sec 2. Enhanced Penalty for Stalkers of Children. This 
section adds up to a five-year sentencing enhancement to the 
federal stalking statute where the stalking victim is a minor.
    Sec 3. Best Practices Regarding Enforcement of Anti-
Stalking Laws to be Included in Annual Report of the Attorney 
General. This section requires DOJ to evaluate the efficacy of 
enforcement of stalking laws at the local and federal levels 
and to report on best practices in enforcing such laws.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PART I--CRIMES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              CHAPTER 110A--DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND STALKING


Sec.
2261. Interstate domestic violence.
2261A. Interstate stalking.
2261B. Enhanced penalty for stalkers of children.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2261A. Stalking

   Whoever--
          (1) travels in interstate or foreign commerce or is 
        present within the special maritime and territorial 
        jurisdiction of the United States, or enters or leaves 
        Indian country, with the intent to kill, injure, 
        harass, intimidate, or place under surveillance with 
        intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another 
        person, and in the course of, or as a result of, such 
        travel or presence engages in conduct that--
                  (A) places that person in reasonable fear of 
                the death of, or serious bodily injury to--
                          (i) that person;
                          (ii) an immediate family member (as 
                        defined in section 115) of that person; 
                        or
                          (iii) a spouse or intimate partner of 
                        that person; or
                  (B) causes, attempts to cause, or would be 
                reasonably expected to cause substantial 
                emotional distress to a person described in 
                clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of subparagraph (A); 
                or
          (2) with the intent to kill, injure, harass, 
        intimidate, or place under surveillance with intent to 
        kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person, 
        uses the mail, any interactive computer service or 
        electronic communication service or electronic 
        communication system of interstate commerce, or any 
        other facility of interstate or foreign commerce to 
        engage in a course of conduct that--
                  (A) places that person in reasonable fear of 
                the death of or serious bodily injury to a 
                person described in clause (i),
                          (ii) or (iii) of paragraph (1)(A); or
                  (B) causes, attempts to cause, or would be 
                reasonably expected to cause substantial 
                emotional distress to a person described in 
                clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of paragraph (1)(A),
shall be punished as provided in [section 2261(b) of this 
title] section 2261(b) or section 2262B, as the case may be.

Sec. 2261B. Enhanced penalty for stalkers of children

  If the victim of an offense under section 2261A is under the 
age of 18 years, the maximum imprisonment for the offense is 5 
years greater than the maximum term of imprisonment otherwise 
provided for that offense in section 2261.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]