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Legislature Approves "Jessica Lunsford Act"

By: Mike Vasilinda
By: Mike Vasilinda

Jessica’s accused killer, John Couey, was required to notify police every time he moved. The Citrus County Sheriff's Office verified his home last August, but he turned up living with a relative, just yards from where Jessica lived.

Legislation now moving would make knowingly housing a sex offender who isn’t registered a felony. The legislation also requires electronic monitoring for anyone convicted of a sex offense.

Ron Book’s daughter was a victim of sexual assault.

Ron says, "If criminals don’t want to be found, they are not going to be the first ones to stand up and tell the law enforcement agencies of this state where they are."

The bill also increases the number of years offenders will keep their predator or offender designation. Some members of the committee called for chemical castration.

Rep. Dick Kravitz, (R) Orange Park, says, "It’s time that we start worrying about the impacts of the victims, these precious kids and their families, and we stop worrying about these people who are never going to be cured."

The bill can’t require a monitoring for those 30,000 people who are already registered, but if they mess up and violate a term of their release, then they will be required to wear a bracelet.

With the memory of a murdered nine-year-old still fresh, the vote was a slam dunk, but some members say that even with electron tracking, there should not be a false sense of security.

Other legislation being considered is tougher sentences for all sexual offenses, including first-time offenders.


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