Montana Seeks New Bill for Child Abusers
I worked for many years in the dependency courts in California with abused children and so often saw very little accountability for the crimes committed. When a child was seriously injured it was generally not the first offense by the perpetrator. So, I’m pleased to see what one state is doing on behalf of these children.
Several new bills have been proposed in Montana to help protect children from abuse. This article explains why they are taking action. http://tinyurl.com/agkq8m5
Senate Bill 160 proposes new felony charges for child endangerment.
SB 198 proposes revising the laws for penalties for assault on a minor. This bill would raise the maximum to 20 years for children under 36 months old and if it causes serious bodily injury, the penalty would rise to 40 years.
SB 113 allows evidence of previous crimes in prosecuting sexual offenses.
House Bill 74 requires disclosure of child abuse from Child Protective Services to law enforcement in all cases.
There is a loop hole in the law that allows registered sex offenders to avoid prosecution for not disclosing their true address. An additional bill has been proposed to close that loop hole.
These bills are supported by both parties and it appears Montana is taking serious steps to help protect its children.
The bills are designed to bring greater accountability for the crimes, but more importantly it would seem that it would help prevent more serious abuse in the future. If intervention is done before the crimes escalate (and they generally do) hopefully it will save many children from serious and permanent injury and often death.
If you live in Montana, please let your legislators know if you support these bills. The public can make a huge difference.