Governor Applauds Senate for Passing Tough, Comprehensive Child Protection Legislation

From The Office of Governor John Lynch

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch applauded the state Senate for passing today comprehensive child protection legislation that includes tough new sentences for the worst child sexual predators.

" We must do everything possible to protect our children, " Gov. Lynch said. " The bill passed by the Senate would give New Hampshire some of the toughest and most comprehensive child protection laws in the nation, " Gov. Lynch said.

The Senate restored to the bill a provision allowing prosecutors to seek mandatory minimum sentences of 25 years for people who prey on children under the age of 13. Gov. Lynch had called on the Senate to restore that provision.

" The harm that sexual predators do to their young victims stays with these children the rest of their lives. The legislation sets punishments for sexual predators that are commensurate with their crimes and with the lasting damage that they inflict. "

Gov. Lynch worked with the Attorney General, police chiefs, victims' advocates and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, to develop and propose the legislation.

The legislation, House Bill 1692, contains more than 25 provisions, aimed at better protecting New Hampshire's children. In addition to toughening penalties, it includes provisions improving registration and monitoring of sex offenders; requiring the Department of Corrections to develop a GPS monitoring system for offenders; and giving parents better information about whether sexual predators are living in their neighborhoods.

" This legislation will send a clear message: If you prey on children in New Hampshire, we will send you to prison - and we're going to keep you there for a long time, " Gov. Lynch said.

The bill, HB 1692, must now go back to the House, which could accept it or ask for a conference committee.

" I will work hard with senators and representatives to make sure we pass a comprehensive and tough new law to protect New Hampshire's children, " Gov. Lynch said.