Ernie Allen, President & Ceo, the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children,(NCMEC) recently spoke to the United States House Of Representatives, Committee On The Judiciary, Subcommittee On Crime, Terrorism.
In his speech he mentioned three missing child cases all of whom were murdered by sex offenders.
In recent years, millions of Americans have followed with horror the devastating stories of Jessica Lunsford, Sarah Lunde, Jetseta Gage and others. These tragic cases have generated anger and indignation nationwide, and epitomize an area of great concern: how to effectively track, register and manage the nation’s convicted sex offenders.
John Evander Couey, was sentenced to death in the rape and murder of 9-year-old Jessica in Florida. She was believed to have been buried alive.
Sarah Lunde was a 13-year-old from Ruskin, Florida. She was strangled to death in April 2005 by David Lee Onstott, her body later dumped in a pond. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Roger Bentley is serving two consecutive sentences of life in prison without parole in the kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Jetseta Gage. She was raped, beaten and suffocated with a plastic bag around her head.
Her killer has not been identified but many have asked after the death of Sandra Cantu, what can be done to protect our children specifically from sexual predators. Some attempts have been made by legislators on the federal and state levels but with minimal impact. Both these pieces of legislation were met with resistance by many states including California.
- The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, passed by Congress in 2006
- The Jessica Lunsford Act (various revisions).
Mr. Allen had this update on the “Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act”.
Title I of the Adam Walsh Act is commonly referred to as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The Sex offender Monitoring, Apprehension, Registration and Tracking (SMART) Office is authorized to determine whether a jurisdiction has substantially implemented SORNA or to grant an extension of the deadline. A jurisdiction must submit materials about its registration program to the SMART Office. The Adam Walsh Act permits jurisdictions to apply for up to two one-year extensions. The deadline for submitting extension requests is April 27, 2009.
Currently, there are no jurisdictions listed on the SMART Office webpage as having achieved substantial compliance. Seventeen jurisdictions are listed as having been granted a one-year extension to July 26, 2010 (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Guam, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Quileute Tribe, Santee Sioux Nation, and South Carolina).
The Jessica Lunsford Act (summary)
Increase the penalty for lewd and lascivious molestation of a child to life in prison or a split sentence of a mandatory minimum 25-year prison term, followed by lifetime supervision with electronic monitoring. Increase, from 20 to 30 years, the period of time before a sexual predator is allowed to petition to have the sexual predator designation removed. Increase sexual predator/offender registration and reporting requirements. Sexual predators who murder their victims now qualify for the death penalty in capital cases. Designate failing to re-register as a sexual offender/predator or harboring or assisting a sexual predator/offender a third degree felony. Require those already convicted of sex crimes to have electronic monitoring for the remainder of their probation. Require all county misdemeanor probation officials to search the sexual offender registry when a new offender is assigned to them.
Has your state passed the Jessica Lunsford Act? You can find out here.
I’ll be back but they won’t