Vermont Governor signs sex-offender registry bill – includes Sexting

Gov. James Douglas signed into law a pair of bills designed to eliminate profits from crimes and a comprehensive set of new requirements, restrictions and consequences for the state’s sex offender registry and teen “sexting”

Flanked by lawmakers and law enforcement during a ceremony Monday at the Rutland Police Department, Douglas signed S. 26 and S. 125 into law.

The first bill, inspired by a fatal shooting in which police said a wife killed her husband in West Rutland, deals with the legal disposition of property upon a person’s death. It would prohibit a person who stands to make financial gains from another’s death from reaping those rewards if they are charged with or convicted in the person’s death.

The other new law serves as a supplement to a law passed at the start of the year, which increased potential penalties for those convicted of sex crimes in the state.

The new law institutes stricter registry requirements for sex offenders and broadens the information available to the public about offenders’ whereabouts. It also addresses “sexting” — the practice of sending indecent or pornographic images electronically — by minors. Teens who violate the law face a juvenile offense handled in either family court or through diversion programs.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

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