Thursday, July 12, 2007

from the cool justice report

Making Perverts Pay

Megan Kanka and Jessica Lunsford:Battling Sexual Predators
The Cool Justice
July 11, 2007
EDITOR'S NOTE: This column is available for reprint courtesy of The Cool Justice Report,

The tortured and ravaged death of a child has once again defined the law in Connecticut. In 1994 seven-year-old Megan Kanka was raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender who had moved into her New Jersey neighborhood. No one knew that a sexual predator named Jesse Timmendequas lived only doors down from Megan’s home. He lured her inside with a promise to see a puppy. He had two prior convictions for the sexual assault of very young children.Megan’s death became the catalyst for the establishment of sex offender registration programs through out the country. Profiles and locations of registered sex offenders are now available online in Connecticut at

In 2005, 10-year-old Jessica Lunsford was abducted, raped and murdered by another convicted sex offender. Following her death Jessica’s dad, Mark Lunsford, crystallized efforts for more stringent controls of sex offenders and greater prison sentences. Ironically Jessica’s older brother was later arrested for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.As we have adopted a version of Megan’s Law, Connecticut has now adopted a version of Jessica’s Law. Jessica’s Law, Public Act 07-143, effective July 1, 2007. The purpose of the Act was to create mandatory minimum sentences for sex offenses against minors under the age of 13. Here are some of the highlights of the law:Section 3 of Jessica’s Law creates a new offense of aggravated sexual assault on a child under age 13, which now becomes a Class A felony with a penalty of a 25-year minimum mandatory sentence for a first conviction, and 50-year minimum mandatory sentence for a second offense;......................

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