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Predatory Sex Offender Bill

March 07, 1996
By: ELIZABETH MCKINLEY
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Predatory sex offenders could face life under the watchful eye of the Missouri Corrections Department under a bill unanimously approved by the House of Representatives on Thursday (March 7).

Life in prison with the option for parole, which would be supervised by the department, is what Missouri's sex offenders could expect.

The bill is aimed at reducing the number of repeat offenders who slip through the system.

"This stops the revolving door people," said Rep. Wayne Crump, D-Potosi, the bill's sponsor. "They would always be under the control of the Department of Corrections for life."

There are three requirements for a person to be considered a predatory sex offender. Predatory sex offenders must:

  1. Have previously been convicted of a sex offense; or,
  2. Have previously committed an act, but not necessarily convicted of it; or,
  3. Have a propensity to commit a sex offense.

In addition, the bill would prohibit granting probation to persons convicted of rape or sodomy.

It also would require sex offenders to undergo counseling through the Missouri Sexual Offender Program and prohibit a judge from placing a convicted offender on probation at any time up to 120 days after the offender has been sent to prison.

Crump said as a condition of parole, sex offenders also could be prohibited from being in places where they have a propensity to pick up victims.

For example, if the sex offender tended to pick up victims from schoolyards, he could be barred from being within a certain distance of this place, Crump said. If the sex offender then entered school grounds, he would be in violation of parole.

The bill varies only slightly from one approved by the Senate last week.