|Sex Offenders = Scapegoat?|
By MIKE WISER
DES MOINES - Sex offenders could be hunted for their crimes indefinitely under legislation introduced Monday by an Iowa lawmaker.
Sen. Jeff Danielson’s bill would remove the statute of limitations on sex offenses involving children, a provision that drew praise from some during a Statehouse hearing.
“Sometimes it takes decades before the trauma can be spoken of,” said Kim Hiscox, an organizer and spokeswoman for the National Child Safety Council. “A statute of limitations doesn’t make sense.”
The bill, which Danielson, D-Cedar Falls, said “was a starting point,” makes several other changes to existing law. They include:
- Modifying the state’s sex offender registry tier structure so offenders are ranked on the list based on an assessment of their propensity to reoffend. Currently, offenders are placed on the list based on their conviction.
- Putting aside $2 million for a state revolving fund under control of the Department of Public Safety to pay for training and best practice protocols for law enforcement agencies involved in tracking missing children, including new alert systems and establishment of a statewide human trafficking task force.
- And is was mentioned that they were probably killed by drug dealers, not ex-sex offenders, so instead of punishing murderers, they go after the scapegoat, sex offenders, and from a quick scan of the news, we do not see that sex was involved, so why punish ex-sex offenders for the crime of a murderer?
No arrests have been made in the case.
“It does not go far enough, but it’s the step in the right direction,” Sen. Kent Sorenson, R-Milo, said.
Sorenson has pushed for a reintroduction of the death penalty in the state since the girls’ bodies were discovered.
“I think capital justice is something we can have a discussion on,” Sorenson said, adding he could support Danielson’s bill. “I’m hoping we can make it a work in progress.”
Robin Arnold, a Cedar Falls woman who turned in 15,000 signatures from people who supported tougher sex offender laws to the committee, said she hoped the legislation would make it possible for quicker responses from law enforcement and the community at large when children are missing.
- Come on, this is insane! Why do we continue to punish ex-sex offenders when a child goes missing or murdered instead of punishing the person who committed the act? This is just wrong!
“I listened to them say every day for seven days ‘We have no reason to believe the children had been abducted,’” Arnold said. “So on the seventh day when it came across that ‘We now believe the children have been abducted,’ I cried, I prayed, I started the petitions.”