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Senate Unanimously Passes Governor’s Omnibus Crime Bill

April 1, 2013

Senate Bill 22 creates tougher penalties for offenders while adding more protections for victims

JUNEAU-Today, the Alaska State Senate unanimously passed the Governor’s Omnibus Crime Package, Senate Bill 22, which creates tougher penalties for human trafficking and sex offenders, provides stronger protections for victims and survivors, strengthens investigative tools to track down and prosecute offenders, and enacts tougher sentencing provisions.

“For those who have to protect Alaskans, it is a very sobering thing to do. That’s why we believe it is so important to continue building this range of tools,” said Senator John Coghill, R-North Pole.  “The Judiciary Committee had to stand between how many tools to give to the government, while not infringing on individual rights.   I think we hit a reasonable balance.  We have a serious problem in Alaska and I think we are taking the best steps possible to crack down on these problems.”

Senate Bill 22 builds off of work by Senator McGuire, R-South Anchorage, over the past several years regarding how to reduce the epidemics of sex trafficking, child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence in Alaska.  Just last year, the Legislature passed two initiatives by Senator McGuire which created tougher penalties for child abuse and established a Human Trafficking Task Force which evaluated services available to human trafficking victims and examined the prevalence of those crimes.  

“I am pleased we are continuing our efforts to create zero-tolerance policies for child abuse, sex trafficking, and domestic violence in Alaska,” said Senator Lesil McGuire.  “We want to make Alaska the last place people want to come to conduct these sickening criminal activities. Young women and men get caught up into these sophisticated human trafficking rings and they are defenseless.  That’s why it is our job to do everything possible to protect them.” 

Some of the specific provisions in the bill include:

  • Strengthens the penalties on the demand side of sex trafficking, by requiring persons who prey on these victims to register as sex offenders
  • Eliminates statute of limitation on crimes of child pornography and human trafficking
  • Authorizes courts to order GPS tracking devices for people accused of domestic violence or stalking to further protect victims when warranted
  • Authorizes courts to approve wiretapping in human and sex trafficking cases
  • Requires paid athletic coaches to report to authorities if they believe a child has been neglected or abused
  • Prohibits probation and parole officers from having sexual relationships with the offenders they supervise
  • Reverses recent Alaska Court of Appeals decision misinterpreting legislative intent regarding referral to three-judge panel for sentencing of a felony sex offender
  • Adopts a time limit on being able to claim of “credit for time served”
  • Allows courts to rule a child does not have been reunited with a parent who has committed sexual abuse
  • Gives victims of trafficking, child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence the right to apply for violent crimes compensation

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