Officials said a bill being proposed in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives by Representative of the 80th District Jim Gregory could allow cases from child predator hunter groups to be able to stick in court.
Pred hunters are groups of citizens that pretend to be underage online and meet up with potential predators before reporting them to police.
District Attorneys in Blair and Clearfield counties said because members of pred hunter groups are not underage or law enforcement acting as minors, their evidence turned over to law enforcement does not hold up in court, often being tossed out by judges.
Rep. Gregory said this bill would modify the Wiretap Act, allowing someone to record a phone call conversation without the other party consenting or even knowing if there is reasonable belief that someone plans on having sexual conduct with a child.
He said there are about 500,000 online predators daily in America.
“Trying to address those kinds of staggering numbers, This new bill could be that one final tool that helps all folks, and that prosecutions are made possible so that we can take that 500,000 number of daily predators down, especially here in Pennsylvania.”
Lead investigator for the Altoona Pred Hunters Paul Diveglia said this bill would greatly assist groups like his.
“When [predators] get on the phone, they know that they can be talking very sexual to a supposed, alleged minor and there’s no proof about it If we could actually start doing the recordings there’s evidence right there on how these subjects talk and lure these children.”
“The predator groups are telling me this is the last piece of evidence and tool that would make their cases more of a slam dunk for a judge to send these prosecutions and these predators to jail, It’s so severe that anything we can do including this bill with the Wiretap Act has got to be something that we engage and talk in.”