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Politics

Senator Praises Passage of Sex Crimes Bill

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/senatorpra_173.mp3

Republican State Senator John Loudon was in Springfield today to talk about sex crimes legislation that cleared the General Assembly with bi-partisan support this past session. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Republican State Senator John Loudon was in Springfield today to talk about sex crimes legislation that cleared the General Assembly with bi-partisan support this past session.

The bill, which is on the governor's desk, would impose a minimum sentence of 30 years to life for forcible rape or sodomy against children under the age of 12...The current minimum penalty is five years.

Loudon says a variety of factors gave this bill momentum...including media reports and a television news program's investigation into sexual predators.

On a personal level, Loudon says he kept hearing about the need for tougher penalties from one of his relatives.

In addition to closing loopholes, the bill creates a grant program to direct some state funds to local law enforcement officials to hire detectives who specialize in tracking sexual predators online.

Loudon says the bill also includes a tax credit for people who donate to child advocacy centers.

If the governor signs the bill, it would take effect immediately.