Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Florida AG Ashley Moody Endorses Buchanan Bill to Protect Children

Oct 19, 2020
Press Release

BRADENTON, Fla – Congressman Vern Buchanan announced today that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has endorsed his legislation to protect children from predators.

Buchanan’s bill (the CREEPER Act 2.0) will help reduce pedophilia by banning the sale of lifelike child sex dolls used by predators to “normalize” their behavior.

“Attorney General Moody is a national leader on combatting human trafficking and I’m proud to have her support my bill protecting innocent children,” Buchanan said. “Nothing is more important than making sure our children are safe from predators. I am encouraged by the growing bipartisan support for my bill and will continue my efforts to get this bill signed into law as quickly as possible.”

Attorney General Moody said, “As Florida’s Attorney General and the Chair of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, I am proud to stand with Congressman Vern Buchanan in full support of H.R. 8236. I urge Members of Congress to pass this critical piece of legislation to protect our children.”

Earlier this month, Moody hosted the 2020 Human Trafficking Summit to raise awareness of this heinous crime. In addition to her role as the Chair of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, Moody is also the Co-Chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Human Trafficking Committee.

Buchanan’s CREEPER (Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots) Act 2.0 would ban the sale, possession, importation and transportation of sex dolls resembling children.

Earlier this month, Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight and Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister also endorsed Buchanan’s legislation.

Leading child protection and victim support organizations have also endorsed Buchanan’s bill including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the National District Attorneys Association, National Children’s Alliance, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT-USA), Victims Refuse Silence, the Child Rescue Coalition and the Selah Way Foundation.

Buchanan said, “ I am encouraged by the growing bipartisan support for my bill and will continue my efforts to get it signed into law as quickly as possible.”

Last month, Democratic State Sen. Lauren Book, D-Hollywood, who authored Florida's law banning child sex dolls endorsed Buchanan's bill. She spoke with Buchanan about the issue and expressed strong support for taking the ban nationwide. Buchanan's bill, the CREEPER Act 2.0, would do just that. The list of Florida Democrats who have co-sponsored the bill now includes Reps. Donna Shalala, Kathy Castor, Darren Soto, Stephanie Murphy and Alcee Hastings.  

Buchanan, co-chair of the Florida congressional delegation, has a long record fighting human trafficking and child exploitation. Last year, Buchanan introduced the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Training Act to combat human trafficking by educating students about the rapidly spreading crime. Buchanan also chaired Florida delegation hearings on human trafficking earlier this year and in 2017. Also in 2017 Buchanan wrote a column on the growing problem of human trafficking in Florida. In 2014, Buchanan co-sponsored the End Sex Trafficking Act to help law enforcement detect, investigate and prosecute sex trafficking predators in the U.S.

The original CREEPER Act introduced in Congress in 2017 banned the transportation and importation of child sex dolls but languished in the U.S. Senate. Buchanan's updated version adds language from the Florida law that also makes it illegal to sell or possess the dolls.