Row over sick sex dolls using faces of real kids as some argue no harm

Lawmakers are attempting to outlaw revolting sex dolls that use the face or likeness of "real" children.

Investigators in Arizona, US, have warned that children's faces are being lifted from social media, making the dolls look like "the child the predator wants it to look like", said Detective Randall Snyder.

He told Arizona's Senate Judiciary Committee: "These dolls can look like my kids, your kids, your grandkids based upon pictures that are posted on social media."

READ MORE: US cops 'waterboarded suspects with milk and tried to use sex toys on them'

The law is awaiting ratification following much modification.

The original version proposed outlawing all "anatomically correct" dolls resembling kids younger than 12 "intended to be used for sexual stimulation or gratification".

However, it was actually decided that possession of such a doll falls within First Amendment protections.

The new version outlaws a doll if it "uses the face, image or likeness of a real infant or minor who is under 12 years of age.".

According to Snyder, these dolls aren't just available on the dark web.

"These dolls have been found on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, eBay and even Etsy," he said. "They’re designed to look like a child, they’re designed to act like a child, they’re designed to sound like a child."

He also explained they are not illegal under US federal law because "there’s no actual harm to a real child", especially if the images used can't be linked back.

Some of the dolls use generic or computer generated faces.

Snyder did warn they could be a "gateway" for predators and would allow them to "groom" children into sex.

There is contention over whether the law will be passed.

Katherine Gipson McLean, a lawyer with Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, rejected the idea that the dolls would lead to criminal behaviour.

She also reiterated the point that "no actual children were harmed in the production", meaning they are protected under the First Amendment.

Others such as Arizona State Senator John Kavanagh said the legal line is crossed when the dolls use an image of a real child.

It awaits to be seen if the law is ratified.

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