May 16, 2014

Christie signs bill to increase penalties for some NJ sex offenders

5-16-2014 New Jersey:

Sexual predators who target children will now face long mandatory prison sentences. Gov. Chris Christie today signed the Jessica Lunsford Act (A892), his office said.

The law, which takes effect immediately, will require judges to sentence those convicted of aggravated sexual assault against children under the age of 13 to at least 25 years in prison without parole.

The bill — which had 72 sponsors and co-sponsors — is named for a nine-year-old Florida girl who was raped and murdered by a sex offender.

Jessica Lunsford’s father, Mark, came to Trenton in 2011 to push for passage of the bill, which was modeled after a 2005 Florida law.

The law does include a way for such sex offenders to reduce their sentences. Prosecutors could, “in consideration of the interests of the victim,” offer plea deals to defendants in which they’d be sentenced to no less than 15 years without parole. ..Source.. by

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