Stronger measures against sex offenders are advancing in the Maryland General Assembly.
In the House of Delegates, members gave preliminary approval Friday to a bill that would strengthen penalties established in 2006 under Jessica's Law. The bill, sponsored by Republican Delegates Steven Schuh and Michael Smigiel, creates a mandatory 15-year prison sentence (instead of five years) for people who commit a second-degree sex offense or rape against a child under 13.
Jessica’s Law is named for Jessica Lunsford, the Florida girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered five years ago by a convicted sex offender. Her father, Mark Lunsford, went to Annapolis this week to urge lawmakers to toughen laws against sexual predators.
The House on Friday also passed a bill backed by Gov. Martin O'Malley creating lifetime supervision of serious and repeat sex offenders. The bill also extends the time before an offender can request to be released from the monitoring from three to five years.