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NH Police Call For Stronger Sex Offender Laws

January 24, 2008

Concord, NH - Should New Hampshire toughen its' laws against sexual abuse of children? The House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety takes testimony today on a bill that would expand the definition of a "minor" in cases involving child pornography, by raising the age from 16 to 18 years.

The proposal also would strengthen the definitions of some forms of sexual abuse. The goal is to move New Hampshire toward compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act. State Police detective Jill Rockey plans to tell the committee that the changes will keep New Hampshire's kids safer.

"It allows law enforcement officers to capture more offenders who today can't be charged, because our current laws don't adequately cover them."

Rockey believes the changes would also discourage "border-jumping" by out-of-state offenders trying to avoid sex offender registration requirements.

"We will be able to capture more of the people moving to New Hampshire to avoid registration. It will also allow us to protect more victims."

The bill would also reclassify some forms of incest as sexual assault to make it less apparent in sex offender registries, as a way to offer a measure of confidentiality for victims.

John Robinson, Public News Service - NH