Jindal highlights bills to crackdown on sexual predators - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Jindal highlights bills to crackdown on sexual predators

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Over the last two years, Louisiana has passed some of the stiffest penalties in our state's history targeting sexual predators. Chemical castration for certain offenders, lifetime registration as a sex offender and doubling the minimum sentence for computer aided solicitation of a minor.

"I remember a few years ago, reporters asked me if our laws weren't already tough enough. You can go online and find out block by block where these monsters live. I said that's not good enough. I said I want you to go online and find out that these monsters live in one place, in Angola far away from all of our children," said Governor Bobby Jindal.  

Jindal says many of these predators are hiding behind the Internet. But not for long, he's introducing five new laws for consideration this upcoming legislative session.

"The Internet is an ever-changing arena, that demands our laws evolve quickly to stay ahead of the predators," said Jindal.  

The first law would revise the existing crime of "pornography involving juveniles." "The first bill is basically saying that we know that today these monsters use file to file sharing technology to try and get around distribution and production laws, this will close that loophole and toughen those penalties," said Jindal.  

Under that law - offenders could face 5-10 years for distribution and 10-20 years for production.

The second law would create additional jail time between seven to ten years when the crime of computer aided solicitation of a minor results in sexual contact.

The third law, would create an administrative subpoena authority for State Police, the Attorney General and Sheriffs to obtain certain electronic identification information about individuals engaged in computer related sex crimes involving children.

The fourth law would allow the forfeiture of property used in the commission of certain sex crimes so law enforcement can sue the property as a source of revenue to continue the fight against these horrible crimes.  

"You will not only lose your freedom for committing these crimes against our children but you will lose your property - the computer you used, the car that drove you there and anything that aided you in getting to our children," said Jindal.  

The final law would create a "habitual sexual offender" sentencing option under the current habitual offender sex statute.

Governor Jindal said, "Once an offender has proven to be a threat to the well-being of our children, we must move quickly to lock them up and keep them off the streets. Too often these sexual predators are repeat offenders who not only go on to take the innocence of more children, but also end up taking their lives." 

The governor is also added an additional half a million dollars to the budget of the Attorney General's Office to support online predator initiatives.

"We are going to track you down, root you out, find you online and we are going to punish you with every tool that we have," said Jindal.   

But even when we do have the toughest laws, Jindal says parents are still the first line of defense.

"Watch what your kids are doing online. You know that person they are talking to online - that person they are interacting with may not be a child, but an adult posing as a child to entice our children," said Jindal.  

The regular legislative session starts March 29th - and goes thru June 21st.

Copyright 2009 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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