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Lauren Book says childlike sex dolls “are rampantly used by sexual deviants to act out pedophilic desires.” The Senate is seeking to ban them in Florida. Image via Colin Hackley.

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Senators target child-like sex dolls

Importation of the dolls is becoming increasingly prevalent, according to staff analysis.

Selling child-like sex dolls would be a crime in Florida under a measure ready to go to the full Senate.

The Rules Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved the measure (SB 160) focused on “obscene or lewd materials,” with lawmakers pointing to a need to combat pedophilia.

Sen. Lauren Book, a Plantation Democrat who was sexually abused by a nanny as a child, said the anatomically correct dolls “are rampantly used by sexual deviants to act out pedophilic desires.”

The bill has received unanimous support from three Senate committees.

“Psychologists warn that when pedophiles give in to pedophilic fantasies, through the use of child pornography and child-like sex dolls, a reinforcing effect occurs that makes them more vulnerable to offending against a real child,” Book said. “It’s like tempting an addict with their drug of choice.”

The proposal, in part, would make it a first-degree misdemeanor to sell, give away or show such dolls. The charge would increase to a third-degree felony on subsequent violations.

“The world is not a nice place sometimes, technology will change, and we need to do everything we can to combat it and always be diligent in revisiting the laws to make sure that we continue to lead the way in protecting our children,” Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican and former prosecutor, said.

A committee staff analysis said the importation to the U.S. of sex dolls that resemble children is becoming increasingly prevalent.

“Such dolls are manufactured in China, Hong Kong, or Japan and are shipped to the U.S. labeled as clothing mannequins or models in order to avoid detection,” the analysis stated. “A few U.S.-based internet retailers offer these dolls for sale; however, in April 2018, Amazon announced that it will no longer sell childlike sex dolls.”

An identical measure (HB 1107) has been filed in the House but has not been heard in committees.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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