Epstein victims group backs new bill that would ban 'lifelike sex dolls' used by child sex offenders

Victims who allege they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein have endorsed new legislation to ban lifelike sex dolls that resemble children in an effort to protect minors.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Vern Buchanan, builds upon the CREEPER Act, an existing bill introduced to Congress in 2017. The original bill, which was modeled off Florida's existing state law, banned the transportation and importation of child sex dolls but languished in the U.S. Senate.

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Buchanan's CREEPER 2.0 includes language that also makes it illegal to sell or possess the dolls. Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky are the only states that currently ban the dolls.

Experts say pedophiles use the lifelike dolls to "normalize" sex acts against children and prey on minors.

"These dolls not only violate children mentally and emotionally but also deny their privacy rights. We cannot permit these products to make their way into Americans’ homes, potentially enabling a first step to even more heinous crimes against our children,” co-chair of the Florida congressional delegation, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fort Lauderdale, said in a statement.

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Several victim's advocacy groups, including Victims Refuse Silence, the Child Rescue Coalition, and the Selah Way Foundation all endorsed the bill, with more endorsements expected this week.

Disgraced financier Epstein allegedly sexually abused and trafficked dozens of girls and women for many years.

The 66-year-old, who died of an apparent suicide last year, was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges in New York. Prosecutors alleged Epstein paid girls as young as 14 years old hundreds of dollars in cash for massages before molesting them at his homes in New York and Palm Beach, Fla., from 2002 through 2005.

Read updates at FOXNews.com.