Sex Offender Legislation Clears House

Reported by: Associated Press

The Louisiana Senate has approved a bill to force those convicted of sex crimes against children to register with the state as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

Under current law, such offenders must register as sex offenders for 15 years. The bill by Senator Jody Amedee of Gonzales would raise that requirement to life.

Yesterday's unanimous vote sends the bill to the House.

Amedee is sponsor of a package of bills, all supported by Governor Bobby Jindal, aimed at cracking down on sex offenders.

Awaiting House action is a proposal to raise the minimum penalties for those convicted of using a computer to entice a juvenile into a sex act. The minimum jail term would go from two to five years when the victim is between 13 and 17, and from two to 10 years when the victim is 12 or younger.

Also in the House are Senate bills to lengthen the minimum prison terms for those convicted of sex crimes involving children, from one to five years, and to criminalize the act of using text messages to arrange a sexual meeting with a juvenile.