Tightening Restrictions on Sex Offenders
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Tightening Restrictions on Sex Offenders

Date: February 4, 2008
By: Reed Erickson
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: The Missouri Senate Judiciary committee heard testimony from Missouri prosecutors about the need to crack down on online sexual predators.

Reed Erickson has more from Jefferson City.

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The bills give law enforcement power to arrest those found through stings... even if offenders don't come in contact with a child.  This makes it just as illegal to solicit law enforcement posing as minors as it is to actually solicit someone underage. The bill would also force sex offenders to register more than just their real names and addresses. The bill would require them to register their IM screen names, e-mail addresses, user IDs and any online identifiers. 

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd says these updates are needed.
Actuality:  SEXCATCH.WAV
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Description: You know, what we've got to do in this area of the law is have the law catch up with the predators and honestly we're behind the curve.


Part of the new online registration would include a searchable database where the public can see if suspicious online identities belong to registered sexual offenders.

 At the state Capitol,  Reed Erickson.


Intro: Sexual predators were the focus at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary committee, Monday night. 

Reed Erickson has more from Jefferson City.   

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The bill would tighten the belt around sex offenders.
 
Senators proposed changes to sexual predator laws that will make it just as illegal to solicit undercover agents as it is to actually send child pornography to a minor. 
 
St. Louis County Senator and the bill sponsor, John Loudon said he hopes the bill will give police power to stop offenders caught in online stings before they hurt actual children. 
 
 
Actuality:  SEXGROM.WAV
Run Time: 00:18
Description: They're distributing child porn to other children, trying to groom them often with the ultimate idea of  then hooking up and violating that child.  When they're doing that with a member of law enforcement we're making the penalties the same as if they were actually doing that with a child.

The bill also includes legislation that requires more than just name and address registration for convicted sex offenders, it expands databases to include online identities and email addresses as well.
At the state Capitol, I'm Reed Erickson.
Intro: Law enforcement and Family advocates testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday night, on how sexual predators should be handled. 

Reed Erickson has more from the State Capitol. 

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Internet Crime investigator Paul Carrill told lawmakers he doesn't believe sex offenders can be rehabilitate. 
 
Carrill spoke on behalf of the Platte County Sheriff's department and spoke in support of numerous bills that toughened restrictions on sex offenders. 
 
Language already in the bill increases the felony class of Child pornography charges. 
 
Carrill told the committee he believes offenders stay dangerous. 
Actuality:  SEXREHAB.WAV
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Description: In 1987 there was no research in the country anywhere that a pedophile could be rehabilitate.  There was no therapy, and to date that discovery has not been made. 

The committee heard legislation including a bill that would make it illegal for sex offenders to loiter near camp grounds and play areas of state parks.
From the Jefferson City, I'm Reed Erickson.