Yesterday, New Jersey became the latest state to pass some form of Jessica’s Law, upping the penalties associated with sexual abuse of young children. Colorado’s version of the law, sponsored by Rep. Libby Szabo (R-Arvada), was killed in a House committee this year, with the help of rape expert Rep. Joe Salazar (D-Thornton), who seconded the motion to kill the bill.
The New Jersey Assembly passed the bill 77-0, and it now moves onto the Senate.
With it likely to become law soon in the Garden State, Colorado will shamefully be one of only five states without a form of Jessica’s Law on the books.
Reports NJ Today:
TRENTON – The Assembly on Thursday approved legislation that would impose a mandatory prison time of 25 years to life for those convicted of sexually abusing children under the age of 13.
The bill is modeled after Florida’s “Jessica Lunsford Act,” named after a nine-year-old Florida resident who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a registered sex offender in 2005.
“Right now, an individual convicted of abusing a child younger than 13 could face anywhere from 10 to 20 years in prison. This bill would upgrade the punishment to a mandatory 25 years before parole could even be considered. Given the heinous nature of the crime, they deserve nothing less,” said Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union), a sponsor of the bill.
With the trial of Jessica Ridgeway murderer, Austin Sigg, ongoing right now, you would think House Democrats would have felt the immense pressure to do something. Instead, they killed the GOP-sponsored bill.
Why? You’d have to ask them.