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Father's quest creates new porn protection law | News

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Father's quest creates new porn protection law
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ATLANTA -- Randy Upton remembers the November 2010 phone call like it was yesterday. His then-15-year-old daughter Kelsey was at the other end of the line.

"She was very upset, crying," Upton said. "She didn't understand how this could have gotten on the website."

Kelsey was frantic. She had received a text message from an unfamiliar number, telling her someone had posted a pornographic picture online -- a picture attached to her.

"It displayed a very graphic image of a young female that was not Kelsey and had her personal information, telephone number and so forth," Upton said. "It was devastating to me ... she's an only child and (my wife and I) had done everything to protect her."

For the first time, Upton -- a former Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent -- was confronted with a case he couldn't solve. He learned who posted the picture, but there was no way to punish the person.

"There was not a law in place" to protect young women like Kelsey, Upton said. "There was no crime that was committed."

So Upton took matters into his own hands, doing what he does best. He made phone calls and used his years of law enforcement experience to build a case. Now, his hard work is paying off.

Wednesday morning, Gov. Nathan Deal signed Kelsey's Law, a bill punishing those who put minors' information on pornographic websites. Kelsey, now a junior in college, stood alongside her father in the governor's office during the signing.

"She will always be my little princess," Upton said. "She's a very good girl. I'm very proud of her as her father."

Knowing full well that not all children recover from delicate situations like the one his daughter faced, Upton hopes Kelsey's Law is a turning point. During his push for the new legislation, he met parents of children who committed suicide after falling victim to cyber-bullying.

"It makes me feel good knowing those kids that committed suicide, (the law is) going to be honoring them," he said.

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