Lawmakers Debate Jessica's Law

By: KKTV Email
By: KKTV Email
Some local lawmakers are working to make sure child sex offenders spend time in prison.

Matt Anchner testified to lawmakers that he was raped at the age of 1--and the man who did it just got five years.

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Some local lawmakers are working to make sure child sex offenders spend time in prison.

They are trying to adopt a form of Jessica's Law for Colorado. Two different bills have been introduced.

Right now there is no minimum sentence required for convicted sex offenders. In some cases they could just get probation.

But Jessica's Law requires convicted sex offenders to serve prison time.

Matt Anchner told lawmakers he was raped when he was a year old, and the man who did it got just five years.

“The last time my perpetrator was paroled, he came to my school and tried to abduct me and was unsuccessful. Later that week he was arrested for the rape of a 13-year-old girl,” said Anchner.

Anchner is just one of several victims who are telling lawmakers to adopt some form of Jessica's Law. It's named after Jessica Lunsford. She was sexually assaulted and brutally murdered by a repeat sex offender in Florida.

Colorado Democrats are proposing their version of the law.

“This could triple the amount of time these types of offenders spend in containment,” explained Mike Foote, Democratic State Representative for House District 12. Under their proposal, a child molester would go to prison for 10 to 24 years. The crime has to include penetration on a child.

Republicans wanted molesters to serve a minimum of 25 years, even if there was no penetration involved.

“You could still seriously injure a child mentally just by the mere touching of their private areas,” said Bernie Herpin, Republican State Senator for District 11.

The republican proposal of Jessica's Law was killed in committee. The democratic proposal passed out of the committee unanimously on Monday. Republicans are criticizing the democrats for not introducing a stronger version of Jessica's Law.

If the bill advances to Governor Hickenlooper's office, it is set to go into effect on July 1st of this year.

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