SCP congratulates Wyoming lawmakers for passing Jessica's Law, governor to sign bill into law today
Cheyenne, Wyoming - Governor Dave Freudenthal will sign into law today H.B. 64, Wyoming's version of Jessica's Law that creates a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence for adults convicted of sexually assaulting children under the age of 13.
The Wyoming House and Senate approved the bill in the final days of the legislative session which also coincided with the five year anniversary of Jessica Lunsford's abduction, rape and murder by a convicted sex offender in Florida. Jessica's father Mark Lunsford joined Stop Child Predators (SCP) in Wyoming in support of the bill.
The bill was approved by the Senate Labor Committee last week after a lengthy hearing in which committee members heard tearful testimony from Mark Lunsford, local victims and other supporters of the bill. Even though this type of issue is outside the normal scope of the committee's work, committee Chairman Charles Scott agreed to hear the bill after a similar measure failed last year in the Senate Judiciary committee. Opponents of mandatory minimums said sentencing should be the discretion of judges.
SCP President Stacie Rumenap congratulated lawmakers for enacting the legislation. "Each year, thousands of children fall prey to sexual predators. But thanks to the hard work of the legislature and Governor Freudenthal, Wyoming's children and families can breath a little easier knowing that once a sex offender is convicted in Wyoming, the offender will be sent to prison for a very long time and not able to roam the streets in search of their next victim," Rumenap said.
Sponsors of the legislation included Representatives Millin, Buchanan, Edmonds, Gingery, Hammons, Illoway, Quarberg, Shepperson and Thompson, and Sen. Sessions.
Wyoming is the 43rd state to enact Jessica's Law in the last five years, including Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.
About Stop Child Predators
Stop Child Predators is a national non-profit organization that brings together a team of policy experts, law enforcement officers, community leaders, and parents to persuade state and federal lawmakers to enact policies to combat the sexual exploitation of children, and promote and protect the rights of victims.