Lt. Governor Stephen B.Pence's Communication Office
Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence commits to strengthening Kentucky sexual offender laws

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, September 20, 2005  
Contact Information:  Jeanne Lausche
Ryan Watts
(502) 564-2611

Lieutenant Governor Pence testifies before Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary

FRANKFORT, Ky.:  Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence testified before legislators today about the need to strengthen Kentucky laws pertaining to sexual offenders. 

Lieutenant Governor Pence specifically spoke about the Kentucky Coalition Against Sexual Assaults (KCASA), which he spearheaded, and the recommendations the coalition will likely bring to the table regarding stronger legislation.

“The coalition has held six public forums across the state and will hold one more tonight in Paducah,” Pence told the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary.  “Prosecutors, judges, public defenders, and concerned citizens have come to each of these forums to discuss what areas of the law need to be more stringent.”

KCASA will bring a comprehensive plan to the lieutenant governor by November 1st which will then be drafted as legislation to be considered in the 2006 General Assembly.   Lieutenant Governor Pence said he would like to see these points addressed in the plan:

*Strengthen child pornography laws to make possession of child porn a felony rather than misdemeanor, which is the current law, and requiring those who are in possession of child porn to register on sex offender registry

*Make juvenile records pertaining to sexual offenses open to the public, and require juveniles be subject to treatment and registration appropriate to offense and not ending at age 18

*Move Sexual Abuse 1st that covers fondling from a Class D felony to a Class A felony
Consider castration as a possible treatment and deterrent in addition to a criminal’s prison sentence

*Require lifetime supervision for a certain category of criminals

*Seek improvements to ensure the public and the police have accurate information about the criminals on  Kentucky’s sex offender registry

“We don’t want to wait for a catastrophic event to happen in Kentucky before we strengthen our sexual offender laws,” concluded Lieutenant Governor Pence.  “We want to act now before another child is abused or assaulted.  We must do what is necessary to protect our families from these predators.”