New Florida Law Increases Sexual Predator Penalties
As of yesterday, Florida became one of the nation's toughest states for sexual predator penalties. The new law triples maximum sentences up to 15 years for child solicitation and child pornography. It also makes Florida the first state to criminalize the act of traveling to meet a minor for sex and requires sex offenders to register their email and instant messenger handles with authorities. The state will then share that information with social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.
The Attorney General's office reported that Florida ranks fourth in the country in child pornography on computers and the Legislature wanted to make it clear that if you are caught, you're going to spend a substantial amount of time behind bars.
The new law classifies possession of child pornography as a second degree felony and promotion or distribution as a first degree felony. Increased penalties are also provided for "grooming," which is posing as a youth to gain a child's trust, and for specifically heinous pornography including victim's less than 5 years of age, sadomasochistic abuse and sexual battery. Promotion or distribution of these types of pornography will get you 30 years in jail.
The state is also stepping up its school outreach program designed to help teach students how to remain safe while online. When you combine these new criminal penalties with the state's already enacted Jessica's Law, Florida's lawmakers have made it clear to sex offenders "you are not welcome here" and we take the safety of our children seriously. We applaud their efforts.
About the Author
Benjamin Dona is the Broker and Owner of Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors in Bonita Springs, Florida. He holds two advanced degrees, an MBA and an MA, and has an extensive background in both business and marketing. In 1998, he founded Gulf Coast Associates, and formed a group of like-minded Realtor® associates dedicated to offering professional real estate services by concentrating on information, education and the use of leading edge technologies. He also is a much-quoted and read blog author, and a contributor to both national and international news outlets. Benjamin is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Florida Association of Realtors, and numerous local real estate boards throughout Southwest Florida.
Contact Benjamin Dona at 239-948-3955