House votes to ban shipments of child sex robots

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to ban the importation and transportation of sex robots and dolls that look like children -- a move that would bring the U.S. in line with similar policies in Australia and the U.K.

The Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots (CREEPER) Act was passed unanimously in the House by a voice vote. It defines “child sex doll” as “an anatomically-correct doll, mannequin, or robot, with the features of, or with features that resemble those of, a minor, intended for use in sexual acts.’’

Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., said the move was important as such robots can be a gateway for abusers to move onto abusing children.

“Right now, a few clicks on a computer can allow a predator to order a vile child sex doll. This is not only disturbing – but also endangers the most innocent among us,” Donovan said in a statement. “Once an abuser tires of practicing on a doll, it’s a small step to move on to a child.”

The legislation says that the dolls and robots make rape easier by teaching how to overcome resistance and subdue a victim, with some robots including settings to simulate rape.

“I am saddened that there are people in this world who would create realistic child sex dolls and distraught that there are people in this world who would buy them,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said according to McClatchy.

"Customers can order bespoke dolls, providing pictures of specific children they would like the doll to resemble. They can indicate a preferred facial expression such as sadness or fear,” he said.

Donovan’s office said in a statement that such dolls -- often imported from China, Hong Kong and Japan -- can include accessories such as false eyelashes, wigs, warming devices, and cleaning tools.

The bill says that there is correlation between the possession of the dolls and robots and participation in child pornography, and that some owners of the robots have made their children interact with the machines as if they are members of their family.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.