It will soon be a crime for convicted sex offenders to have contact with their victims. The Channel 8 I-Team first exposed the lack of existing law to prevent a rapist from moving next door to a victim’s family.
When we first heard from Barb Caldwell, her situation seemed so beyond the pale it was almost unbelievable. She insisted the man who raped her 4-year-old granddaughter some 20 years ago had just become her next door neighbor.
Caldwell was true to her word. But even more shocking, there was nothing in Nevada law to prevent the man from doing it.
In an effort to protect themselves and others, Caldwell and her granddaughter testified in favor of a bill to prevent sex offenders from having contact with their victims or with witnesses who testified against them.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Lynn Stewart, applies only to offenders on parole, probation, or lifetime supervision.
Though Caldwell says she’s thrilled the bill will now become law, she’s equally frustrated that it will not apply in her case. The man who raped her granddaughter emerged from prison free of any restrictions.
“There’s other victims out there that may be going through the same thing that I’m going through and if it can help anyone besides me, I just want to get help for me and the others,” she said.
Governor Jim Gibbons signed the bill late last week. It will apply to offenders who are convicted on or after October of this year.