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Thursday, April 17, 2014

House panel backs higher penalties for pedophiles

The House Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations has recommended the passage of a bill that would increase the penalties for sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree.

According to the findings of the JGO committee, “It is appropriate to increase the penalties so that it will send a strong message that we will not tolerate heinous crimes perpetrated against our children.”

A mandatory sentence is the “only way” to ensure sex offenders serve time in jail to keep them off the streets, the report added.

House Bill 18-113 is authored by Rep. Trenton B. Connor (Ind-Tinian).

Under the bill, if the victim is under 5 years of age, the perpetrator shall be given a mandatory sentence of imprisonment for life.

If the victim is 5 but under 11, the perpetrator shall be given a mandatory sentence of 5 years imprisonment.

If the victim is 11 but under 13, it will be imprisonment of not more than 30 years, a fine of not more than $50,000, or both.

The bill has already gotten the support of Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Deleon Guerrero. (Jayson Camacho)

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