Stop Child Predators Commends Maryland Governor, Lawmakers for Toughening Sex Offender Laws

Annapolis, MD-Stop Child Predators commends the efforts of Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and state lawmakers for creating new legislation that toughens the state's sex offender laws.

SCP President Stacie Rumenap joined lawmakers, activists and victims Tuesday as Governor O'Malley signed a package of bills designed to crack down on sex offenders into law. The new laws include requiring a mandatory 15-year prison sentence for offenders who commit more serious sex offenses or rape against a child, up from five years under existing law; eliminating the possibility of a reduced prison sentence for good behavior; and lifetime GPS monitoring for violent and repeat sex offenders.

"With my signature today, Maryland is moving forward with tough new laws to monitor and supervise sex offenders and increase mandatory minimum sentences for child sex offenders in our State," said Governor O'Malley. "This comprehensive, tough and bipartisan legislation will help to ensure that every child in Maryland is protected."

Senator Nancy Jacobs and Delegates Steve Shuh and Mike Smigiel sponsored many of the sex offender bills this session.

The legislation comes in the wake of the death of 11-year-old Salisbury girl, Sarah Foxwell, who was killed last December by a registered sex offender and whose body was found Christmas day by a search party of volunteers.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis says this is the first step to preventing crimes like this. "It's going to make it very difficult for sex offenders to continue carrying out their crimes here in the state of Maryland. Obviously, we're not naive enough to think that we can prevent this from occuring in the future, but there will be greater penalties once they're identified apprehended and prosecuted," Sheriff Lewis said.

The new laws will bring Maryland in compliance with the Adam Walsh Act.

To read more about Stop Child Predators' recent efforts in Maryland, click here:
http://www.stopchildpredators.org/news/Apr2010.htm#maryland

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.