House Bill Would Ban 'Child Modeling' Websites

Melanie Hunter | Deputy Managing Editor | Wednesday, March 9, 2005

House Bill Would Ban 'Child Modeling' Websites

( - A Florida Republican congressman introduced a bill Wednesday to prohibit so-called online "child modeling" websites that he says are "nothing more than a fix for pedophiles."

"They don't sell products, they don't sell services - all they serve are young children on a platter for America's most depraved. These sites sell child erotica and they should be banned," said Rep. Mark Foley, co-chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, in a statement.

The websites feature children as young as four- to six-years-old, Foley said, and cause "immense psychological damage to the children" as well as placing them in "physical danger when contact is made with the people who visit their sites."

The measure would ban all websites that charge fees to view models 16 years of age and under that do not promote specific products or services beyond the child.

"If a child is modeling for Gap or Gucci, it's legal. If the site is selling nothing else than the child via photos or video clips, it should be illegal," said Foley.

He said pedophiles who pay to see photos and video clips of the children in sexually suggestive poses send the children provocative clothing and bathing suits to "model" and talk to them via email. In extreme cases, "parties" have been held in hotel rooms where pedophiles can meet the children they've been viewing online in person.

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