NORWALK - A Bridgeport church leader with a painful past is applauding Sen. Richard Blumenthal?s latest efforts to combat child pornography.

Mac Allen, of Bridgeport, says when he was 8 years old, he and his friend were targeted by a molester who also showed them child porn.

Allen says that experience left him so damaged that his life spiraled out of control; he became involved with drugs and gangs. He says it took him 47 years to heal.

Meanwhile, officials say the prevalence of child pornography is increasing at a rate of 150 percent per year.

Now, Blumenthal is teaming up with Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn to increase the maximum penalty for perpetrators from 10 years to 20.