Governor’s Crime Bill to Protect Children, Adults, Trafficking Victims
January 16, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – Continuing his commitment to end the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault in Alaska, Governor Sean Parnell today filed an omnibus crime bill.
Included within this bill are measures to: provide stronger protections for victims and survivors; reinforce penalties on the demand side of sex trafficking; strengthen investigative tools to track down and prosecute offenders; and enact tougher sentencing provisions.
“We will not stop until all Alaskans are safe,” Governor Parnell said. “Our message is loud and clear – the penalties for hurting Alaskans are only going to get tougher. We will continue to expand protections to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.”
In order to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault from further trauma, the bill will expand Alaska’s rape shield law to apply to victims of sex trafficking. The governor’s bill also authorizes the court to order GPS tracking devices on perpetrators with protective orders, and gives the victims of trafficking the ability to qualify for benefits from the Violent Crimes Compensation Board.
The new legislation will amend current statutes to clarify that probation and parole officers may not engage in sexual conduct with a person under their supervision. The bill also prohibits offenders in custody from contacting a victim, and eliminates the statute of limitations for cases involving child pornography and trafficking.
Governor Parnell’s bill includes several components to protect children at home and in the community. In cases where a parent or guardian is found guilty of committing sexual assault against a child, or is a registered sex offender, the Office of Children’s Services will no longer be required to engage in reunification efforts.
To crack down on the demand side of sex trafficking, the bill requires “johns” who prey on young people to register as sex offenders. Furthermore, any property used in these crimes will be subject to forfeiture.
The bill also provides additional investigative tools in connection with sex trafficking. Specifically, the governor’s bill will broaden the authority investigators have to intercept private communications in sex trafficking cases.
In order to keep convicted perpetrators from presenting a danger to the community, the legislation strengthens sentencing statutes in child pornography and sex trafficking cases.
This legislation, along with the proposed budget, builds on the Parnell administration’s significant successes during the last three legislative sessions to ensure Alaska has safe homes and strong families.
A copy of the bill and transmittal letters is available at:
Posted: January 16, 2013