Lawmakers in Tallahassee meet to work on strengthening sex offender laws
TALLAHASSEE -- Two Florida lawmakers have filed the first of what's likely to be a series of measures looking at the state's sex offender laws.
State Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, and Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, filed legislation that would prohibit sexual offenders from accessing any type of pornography while serving probation.
“Pornography is a catalyst to a range of sexual offences in our culture,” said Stargel. “This bill is common sense legislation. Currently, a sex offender can view pornography if it is not relevant to their sexual offense. I believe it is in the best interest of the offender and the public that all pornography is prohibited to sexual offenders, regardless of the person’s prior deviant behavior."
Added Edwards: "It's imperative that Florida act now to close a loophole in the law that restricts the court's ability to keep the public safe from sexual offenders. This bill gives us one more tool to make sure that sex offenders don't risk relapse.”
The House and Senate began hearings yesterday on the laws related to sexual predators. The hearings were a result of a Sun Sentinel investigation that found failures in a 1999 law meant to protect Floridians from sexual predators.
Both the House and Senate are expected to come out with a series of legislative proposals to address the problems identified in the series.
Edwards' and Stargel's bills are HB 73 and SB 182.