The new laws eliminate time off from sexual offenders’ prison sentences for good behavior and prohibit convicted offenders from possessing pornography. The reforms strengthen a current law named in memory of Jimmy Ryce, a South Florida boy who was raped and murdered. The Sun Sentinel series, “Sex Predators Unleashed,” showed that despite a state review process that allows for continued lockup of convicted sex offenders after they serve their prison sentences, nearly 600 offenders had been released and attacked again. They went on to molest 460 children, rape 121 women and kill 14 people. Six attacked new victims on the same day they regained freedom.
Bills clamping down on child molesters and rapists were signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott this week, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Inspired by a Sun Sentinel investigative series, they are the most comprehensive overhaul of sex-offender legislation in more than a decade. Designed to keep more of the “worst of the worst” locked up after their prison terms end, the four laws go into effect Oct 1. They create a 50-year mandatory prison sentence for rapists who attack children younger than 12, the elderly and the developmentally disabled, and eliminate current three-year statutes of limitations for molesters who victimize children younger than 16.