Raleigh, N.C. – Victims of child predators will not rest easier tonight even as Governor Mike Easley signs a watered down version of Jessica’s Law (HB 933) into effect. A report by the Civitas Institute reveals that child molesters in North Carolina will not be required to serve mandatory prison time under the new law.
North Carolina’s version of Jessica’s Law would still allow a first time child molester to walk away with potentially no prison time or serving less than two years. The true Jessica’s law would give these child molesters at least 25 years in prison.
“If bordering states continue to pass laws requiring 25 year minimum prison sentences for child molestation, then North Carolina risks becoming a magnet state for child molesters,” said Jeff Mixon, Legislative Analyst at the Civitas Institute.
The newly signed law does increase the minimum sentence from 16 to 25 years in prison for convicted child rapists and requires lifetime satellite monitoring upon their release.
Two-thirds of registered sex offenders in North Carolina have been convicted of taking indecent liberties with children. Indecent liberties involve a range of offenses including what would be considered child molestation under the true Jessica’s law.
A national study shows 34 percent of all reported sexual assault victims are under the age of 12 and half of the reported victims of “forcible fondling” are under the age of 12. Aside from young teens, 4-year-olds make up the largest group of victims of forcible fondling. Children are most likely to be assaulted by a family member or acquaintance.
Click here to view reports regarding Jessica’s Law
If you would like more information regarding this topic, or to schedule an interview with Jeff Mixon, please call Gabe Dellinger at 919.747.8065 or email at Gabe.Dellinger@nccivitas.org.