SPARTA - Assemblywoman Alison McHose announces the Jessica Lunsford Act, which she has co-sponsored with Assembly Republican Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini, has cleared the Assembly Judiciary committee.
Named for 9 year-old Florida resident who was abducted, raped and murdered by a registered sex offender nine years ago.
The prime sponsor of the bill is Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz, following the death of her husband Eric Munoz, the bill's original sponsor.
“New Jersey is one of the few remaining states in the nation that has not yet enacted Jessica’s Law,” said McHose, R-Sussex,Warren and Morris. “We must take a stand against sexual crimes against children and against those criminals who specifically target children. Children are among the most vulnerable members of society. The physical and emotional harm done them, as well as the trauma suffered by their families and communities, deserves the strongest possible response by the justice system."
According to McHose's office, "The measure, A-892 (PDF), imposes a mandatory prison term of 25 years to life without possibility of parole for at least 25 years for persons convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a child under the age of 13. Parole ineligibility may be extended beyond the minimum 25 years if the convicted sex offender has been convicted of other crimes. In addition, if a victim is unable to testify, a prosecutor would be permitted to negotiate a plea agreement for a prison term of at least 15 years without parole.”
The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee last month unanimously approved S-215, which is identical to the Assembly version.