October 26, 2020

Unanimous decision for mandatory jail sentence for sex offenders

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sexoffendersThe Legislative Assembly unanimously agreed to Bodden Town MLA, Anthony Eden’s Private Members Motion, to increase the maximum sentence that a judge can impose on sex offences categorized as indecent assault on women and girls from a mandatory minimum of five years to 20 years.

His district colleague, Al Suckoo, supported his motion.

Eden’s bill introduces a five year term for any crime falling under indecent assault and will provide for harsher penalties for sex offences in circumstances that may fall short of rape but are equally as abhorrent, eg. involving minors under the age of 12.

Shame and name the offenders was raised by some of the MLA’s.

At present the media cannot publish anything that may identify the victim of sexual abuse. This is because when the perpetrator is a relative naming the offender could lead to the identification of a victim.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said the motion would be moved quickly into law because as it had the unanimous support of parliament this was a powerful message.

Arden Mclean, MLA for East End, commented, “how powerful the Legislative Assembly is when all members work together.”

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