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Congressman Dan Donovan

Representing the 11th District of New York

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Donovan Introduces “CREEPER Act” to Ban Child Sex Dolls

December 14, 2017
Press Release
Experts: Sick dolls encourage child predators; Legislation prohibits interstate sale of lifelike dolls that promote the exploitation of innocent children

Washington, DC—December 14, 2017….Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11), along with a bipartisan coalition of 12 original cosponsors, today introduced the Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots (CREEPER) Act to ban importation and distribution of child sex dolls. Similar bans already exist in Australia and the United Kingdom. Pedophiles buy and sell the lifelike silicone dolls, which resemble children as young as three years old, through online websites and marketplaces. 

Congressman Donovan said, “It’s a uniquely vile person who preys on children to fulfill horrific pedophilic urges. During my 20 years as a prosecutor, I put away animals who played out their disgusting fantasies on innocent children. What I saw and heard was enough to make anybody sick. Now, as a legislator in Congress, I’m introducing a bill to ban the newest outlet for pedophiles: child sex dolls. They don’t belong in our communities.”

Child sex dolls are anatomically accurate renderings of young children, and include “accessories” such as false eyelashes, wigs, warming devices, and cleaning tools. They may also be customized to feature lifelike facial expressions, including sadness and fear. The dolls, which are imported from China, Hong Kong, and Japan, are purposely labeled as mannequins or models to avoid detection in the mail. Recent seizures of these dolls in the United States, UK and other global market places have highlighted the need for legislation to address this disturbing activity. There are currently no laws in the U.S. to prevent the proliferation of child sex dolls.  

Law enforcement agents have said that the purchases of child sex dolls can indicate a history of offenses against children. In fact, of the 128 dolls seized in the UK, 85% percent of the men who imported them were also found in possession of child pornography. Additionally, psychologists and researchers believe that these dolls reinforce, normalize, and encourage pedophilic behavior, potentially putting more children at risk to harm.

Donovan’s proposal has already received support from child and ethics advocacy organizations, including Safe Horizon, Stop Abuse Campaign, Stop Child Predators, Foundation for Responsible Robotics, and Campaign Against Sex Robots. A Change.org petition supporting the CREEPER Act has received more than 149,000 supportive signatures.

Original cosponsors include Representatives Peter King (NY-1), Trey Gowdy (SC-4), Rob Bishop (UT-1) Bill Johnson (OH-6), Tom Marino (PA-10), John Rutherford (FL-4), Nanette Barragan (CA-44), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Don Bacon (NE-2), Chris Stewart (UT-2), Ann Kuster (NH-2), and Kathleen Rice (NY-4).

An op-ed highlighting the threat that child sex dolls pose and the CREEPER Act was also published in The Hill this week. 

Stakeholder Quotes:

Michael Polenberg, VP of Government Affairs of Safe Horizon said“Child sexual abuse is a heinous crime, one that no child should ever have to suffer. How, then, to reconcile civil society’s abhorrence of child abuse with the production and import of life-sized, life-like dolls of children to be used for sexual purposes? This is deeply concerning on many levels. As the nation’s leading victim assistance organization, Safe Horizon commends Rep. Donovan for shining a light on this issue and for introducing legislation to prohibit the import of these products into the United States.”

Stacie Rumenap, President of Stop Child Predators said, “The seizures of child sex dolls illustrates that sex offenders and pedophiles will stop at nothing to reach children. There is no doubt these dolls will be used to lure and groom children, and will ultimately lead to more sexual abuse and exploitation of real children. We gladly stand by Rep. Donovan and commend him for his efforts to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and stop the sale and distribution of these dolls before they become common-place.”

Melanie Blow, COO of the Stop Abuse Campaign said, “Child sexual abuse is an epidemic in our society, affecting one fifth of our nation's children. An epidemic with massive human and financial costs. Anything that normalizes adult sexual attraction towards children will only worsen this epidemic. Child sex dolls and robots that do this are perfectly legal, and that's a problem. We applaud Representative Donovan for introducing a bill to ban these destructive dolls and protect children."

Noel Sharkey, Co-director of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics said, “There is currently a dramatic rise in the development of talking sex robots powered by Artificial Intelligence. The possibility of making anatomically detailed moving robot replicas of specific children for sexual gratification is now here and is surely a step too far. Such devices will, at the very least, have a pernicious impact on our society and create a threat to the sexual safety of our children. I strongly support Rep. Donovan’s efforts to prohibit child-like sex robots that will only encourage sexual predation. The alternative is unimaginable.”

Kathleen Richardson, Founder of the Campaign Against Sex Robots and De Montfort University Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI said, “I have listened to the stories of childhood sexual abuse survivors first hand, and we must do everything to prevent future incidences. Giving child sex dolls and robots to pedophiles will do nothing but encourage harmful acts towards innocent children. A child’s safety should never be put below a predators desire or commercial companies profits. Congressman Donovan’s bill must be supported to protect our children.”

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