a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring of adults convicted of lewd or lascivious acts against a victim less than 12 years old. In Florida, sexual battery or rape of a child less than twelve years old is a capital felony, punishable only by death or life imprisonment with no chance of parole.Currently, only seven states have no intention of passing any form of Jessica's Law: New Jersey, Hawaii, Wyoming, Colorado, Vermont, Idaho, and Massachusetts.
in June 1999, George Roy was charged with sexual assault of a four-year old girl
in Springfield. Roy had been given a two-year suspended sentence with probation
in 1991, but never registered as a sex offender, although he had been registered
to vote all the while.
In June 1999, Michael Vick, a Lynn man with a history of convictions for breaking and entering and sex offenses was arrested for molesting a four-month old boy in Revere. A judge had lowered Vick’s bail in an October rape case from $25,000 to $5,000 in February, because the District Attorney did not take the opportunity to show the court that Vick was dangerous. The DA said that he did not want to harm the child victim in a dangerousness hearing, but a court official told Massachusetts News that a judge might have granted the petition even without the testimony of the victim. "An attempt should have been made by the District Attorney," the official said.
In November 1998, Eben Hoyt was arrested for dozens of child rapes while on
probation, and while registered as a sex offender. Hoyt, a former Methuen school bus driver, pleaded guilty to molesting an eight-year old in 1996. He plea-bargained to avoid prison and was placed on probation.
In January 1999, a twice-convicted sex offender was arrested for raping a four-year old boy in Northboro.
Last fall, Frederick Wyatt used a 1994 Massachusetts law that allows convicted sex offenders to persuade a jury (rather than a judge) that they are no longer sexually dangerous. Wyatt refused treatment during his fifteen years in the Bridgewater Treatment Center for the Sexually Dangerous. State officials warned that Wyatt remained a danger and called for stronger criminal penalties and sex offender registration laws. Wyatt moved to Ohio after his release.
This April, Brian Nagle, who had been convicted of sex crimes in 1987 and 1996, and was registered as a level III (most dangerous) sex offender, raped a six-year old boy in Amesbury, was sentenced to life in prison, but will be eligible for parole after fifteen years.
Here is another view of the proposed law to ban spanking by parents of their children.
Kids out of line? Spanking might not be an option in Massachusetts if a proposal takes hold in the state legislature.
The proposal, submitted by a nurse, would ban corporal punishment, including spanking, in all cases for children under 18 unless it is to save them from danger. Parents would face charges of abuse or neglect, according to The Boston Herald.
Click here to read the full report in The Boston Herald.
A hearing and debate is scheduled in the State House on the measure Wednesday, the paper reports.Democratic state Rep. Jay Kaufman introduced the measure on
behalf of the nurse, but isn't taking a position on it.
Massachusetts lawmakers say a proposed measure that would ban parents from spanking their children, even in their own homes, is a way to protect kids from abuse. But many parents believe it's an example of government run amok.
In all 50 states, parents are legally allowed to spank their children. But in 29 states it's illegal for a teacher to practice corporal punishment, including spanking.
A Massachusetts nurse is hoping to change that and make the state the first in the nation to ban corporal punishment at home.
"I think it's ironic that domestic violence applies to everyone except the most vulnerable children," said Kathleen Wolf, who wrote the bill.