Tag: Jessica Lunsford Act

Munoz: N.J. now has strong law against sexual predators

Source: Trenton Times (letter-to-editor by Nancy F. Munoz) -

Nancy Munoz

New Jersey now joins 45 other states in enacting some form of the Jessica Lunsford Act, which is named for the 9-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a registered sex offender in 2005.

New Jersey law now ensures that convicted sexual predators will be kept off of our streets and behind bars for a very long time, as it imposes a mandatory prison term of 25 years to life without possibility of parole for at least 25 years for persons convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a child under the age of 13.

The road to implementing the act was lengthy and difficult, as we had to overcome both political roadblocks and policy snags. In fact, the process began in 2005, when my late husband, Assemblyman Dr. Eric Muñoz, first introduced the legislation after meeting with Jessica’s father, Mark Lunsford. Following my husband’s untimely death, I was honored to pick up the mantle and honor his commitment to make certain the act became law.

The effort has been well worth it, because, like Eric, I am confident it will save lives and help prevent other families from having to bear the pain and suffering Jessica’s father, Mark, endures to this day.

Sexual assault against a child deserves the strongest possible response by the justice system. On behalf of Mr. Lunsford, Eric and my legislative colleagues who helped in this effort, I am proud to say that is now a reality in New Jersey.

Nancy F. Muñoz
The writer, a Republican, represents the 21st District in the New Jersey General Assembly.

read more

Christie Signs Lunsford Act Into Law

Source: The Advertiser News -

Gov. Chris Christie joined with lawmakers and victims advocates for a ceremonial bill signing of the Jessica Lunsford Act which strengthens penalties for those who commit sexual assaults against children in New Jersey.

BettyLou DeCroce

Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R- Morris, Essex, Passaic) was a cosponsor of the legislation that sets a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 25 years to life with no chance of parole for those who are found guilty of aggravated sexual assault against a child under the age of 13.

The law provides flexibility to prosecutors in very limited circumstances for terms of no fewer than 15 years, only when such a plea is in the best interest of the victim as determined by plea guidelines established by the Attorney General’s Office.

“This law will ensure that those who commit the unspeakable act of sexual assault on a child will be taken off our streets and locked behind bars where they cannot harm any more children,” DeCroce said.

The law is named for a nine-year-old Florida resident, Jessica Lunsford, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a registered sex offender in 2005. “The harm that sexual predators inflict on children, their families and friends is immeasurable and must be punished as severely as possible under the law,” added DeCroce.

Nancy Munoz

The legislation was initially sponsored by the late Assemblyman Eric Muñoz in 2005. Muñoz’ wife, Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset, is the bill’s prime sponsor.

Alison Littell McHose

“The physical and emotional harm done to children, as well as the trauma suffered by their families and communities, deserves the strongest possible response by the justice system. Justice has now been served,” said Assemblywoman Allison Littell-McHose of Sussex County.

“The new law will equip law enforcement with the tools it needs to make sure sexual predators receive the punishment they deserve.”

read more

New Jersey adopts Jessica Lunsford Act after 9 years

Source: Daily Record - New Jersey is the latest, and one of the last states, to enact a version of the Jessica Lunsford Act, which increases penalties for people convicted of sexually assaulting a child under 13.

Nancy Munoz

Gov. Chris Christie signed the bill into law May 15. A ceremonial bill signing was held Monday morning on the Statehouse steps and included a short speech from Mark Lunsford, whose 9-year-old daughter was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender in Florida in 2005…

Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, R-Morris, was a cosponsor of the legislation.

“This law will ensure that those who commit the unspeakable act of sexual assault on a child will be taken off our streets and locked behind bars where they cannot harm any more children,” said DeCroce.“The harm that sexual predators inflict on children, their families and friends is immeasurable and must be punished as severely as possible under the law.”

BettyLou DeCroce

The legislation was initially sponsored by the late Assemblyman Eric Muñoz in 2005. Muñoz’s wife, Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz, R-Union, is the bill’s prime sponsor.

“We didn’t want to punish the children more than they’ve already suffered. So that’s why the plea deal is in there,” said Munoz

Other primary sponsors for the Jessica Lunsford Act included Senators Tom Kean Jr., R-Union, and Steve Oroho, R-Sussex, and Assembly members Mary Pat Angelini, R-Monmouth, and Allison McHose, R-Sussex.

read more

Gov. Chris Christie signs ‘Jessica Lunsford’ sex offender bill into law

Source: The Express-Times -

New Jersey has become the 46th state to enact a law toughening penalties for sex offenders who prey on children.

Gov. Chris Christie today signed the law known as the “Jessica Lunsford Act,” which imposes mandatory 25-year terms without parole for anyone convicted of assaulting a child younger than 13.

Prosecutors would be permitted to negotiate a 15-year sentence to keep some victims from having to testify.

The bill is named after a 9-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped, raped and buried alive by a convicted sex offender in 2005. Similar laws around the country are intended to keep child sex offenders locked up longer to reduce their ability to re-offend.

The girl’s father, Mark Lunsford, has pushed hard for such laws.

He flew to Trenton to attend today’s bill signing.

Primary sponsors for the Jessica Lunsford Act included state Sens. Steve Oroho, R-Sussex/Warren/Morris; Diane Allen, R-Burlington; and Tom Kean Jr., R-Union; and Assembly members Alison Littell McHose, R-Sussex/Warren/Morris; Nancy Munoz, R-Union/Morris/Somerset; and Mary Pat Angelini, R-Monmouth.

Alison Littell McHose

Littell McHose in a statement said: “The physical and emotional harm done to children, as well as the trauma suffered by their families and communities, deserves the strongest possible response by the justice system. Justice has now been served. The new law will equip law enforcement with the tools it needs to make sure sexual predators receive the punishment they deserve.”

read more

‘Jessica Lunsford Act’ Signed Into Law

Source: NJ 101.5 -

New Jersey has become the 46th state to enact a law toughening penalties for sex offenders who prey on children.

Gov. Chris Christie signed the law known as the “Jessica Lunsford Act,” which imposes mandatory 25-year terms without parole for anyone convicted of assaulting a child younger than 13.

The law is named for 9-year-old Florida resident Jessica Lunsford, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 2005 by a two-time convicted sex offender. Her father Mark Lunsford joined Christie for Monday’s ceremonial bill signing.

“Today marks the day that New Jersey begins changing the landscape on how we deal with crimes against children. Today is the day that New Jersey says that we’re turning the tables and instead of you stalking our children we’re stalking you,” Lunsford said.

The late Assemblyman Eric Munoz also introduced his version of the measure nine years ago. His wife has taken his place in the legislature and was also at the bill signing.

Nancy Munoz

“My husband Eric flew Mark Lunsford up here in the spring of 2005 and he made a promise to him that we will get this passed and Eric always kept his promises,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Summit). “When Eric died I took over for him and the very first piece of legislation that I picked up was this bill.”

read more

Christie champions law toughening penalties against sex offenders who assault children

Source: Star Ledger -

In 2005, Mark Lunsford’s 9-year-old daughter Jessica was abducted, raped, and murdered by a twice-convicted sex offender who lived near their home in Florida.

Nine years later, Lunsford choked back tears as he stood next to Gov. Chris Christie this morning to welcome New Jersey as the 46th state to enact a law named after his daughter to toughen sentences against sex offenders who prey on children.

The Jessica Lunsford Act requires judges to sentence those convicted of aggravated sexual assault against children under the age of 13 to at least 25 years in prison without parole. Previously, the crime held penalties of 10 to 20 years.

“Today is the day that New Jersey says, ‘We’re turning the tables, and instead of you stalking our children, we’re stalking you,’” Mark Lunsford told the crowd that gathered at the Statehouse steps in Trenton to see Christie publicly sign the bill into law. “The only way that we can make things different is by joining together and every state passing something that is so tough that it makes other people so angry because it’s so hard for them to do their job to protect a guilty man.”

Florida passed a law named after Jessica the year she was murdered. Around the same time, Assemblyman Eric Munoz (R-Union) worked with her father to introduce a similar bill in New Jersey.

The measure had 72 sponsors and co-sponsors but stalled for years in the Legislature. Critics have said the increased penalties don’t make children safer and may hurt teenagers who have relationships with younger children.

But after Munoz died in 2009, his wife was elected to his seat and continued fighting for the bill’s passage.

Nancy Munoz

“He made a promise to him to get this passed,” Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Union said today. “Eric always kept his promises. This is an important day for New Jersey.”

The law allows prosecutors to negotiate a shorter sentence — of no less than 15 years without parole — if the state Attorney General’s Office determines it’s in the best interest of the victim.

 

Mark Lunsford has spent much of the last decade traveling across the U.S. to push states to pass the law. He visited New Jersey in 2011 to lobby for it, and after working until 6 a.m. this morning, he immediately caught a flight to finally champion its signing.

“Thank you to the people of New Jersey,” he said.

Lunsford noted that only four states have not passed the legislation, including neighboring New York.

“New York, all your neighbors have Jessie’s law, and you don’t,” he said.

read more

Fiocchi Statement on “Jessica Lunsford Act” Bill Signing

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi today joined other bill sponsors and Governor Christie as he signed into law the “Jessica Lunsford Act,” mandating strict minimum sentences for sexual crimes against minors.

Under the law, the minimum sentencing for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 13 is raised to 25 years to life, and it provides that the prosecutor, in the interest of the victim, be authorized to negotiate a plea agreement for a 15-year minimum. Currently, first degree crimes are punishable by a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“The ‘Jessica Lunsford Act’ protects New Jersey’s innocent children from the depraved monsters who would do them harm,” said Fiocchi, a sponsor of A-892.

“The punishment will never match these horrific crimes, but removing these animals from society for 15 to 25 years sends a very clear message that our precious children will be protected,” continued Fiocchi, R-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland.

The bill is named after Jessica Lunsford, a nine-year-old Florida resident, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a registered sex offender, John Couey. Couey received the death penalty in August 2007, but died in federal prison in September 2009. Jessica’s father, Mark Lunsford, has made several trips to New Jersey advocating for sex offender legislation.

read more

Muñoz on “Jessica Lunsford Act” Bill Signing: It was Worth the Effort

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz said the hard work and perseverance was all worth the effort at today’s ceremony where Gov. Christie signed legislation known as the “Jessica Lunsford Act” into law. The new law increases the criminal penalties on those who commit sex crimes against minors. Muñoz is the prime sponsor of the legislation which was initially introduced by her late husband, Assemblyman Eric Muñoz, nine years ago.

Nancy Munoz

“The tragedy involving Jessica Lunsford shocked our country nine years ago,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “We sympathized with Mark Lunsford and his family over their loss. This heinous act, committed in Florida, raised everyone’s awareness across the country and was a call to action. I am grateful to all those who supported and remained committed to seeing this legislation become law.

“I want to thank Governor Christie for his support and Senate President Sweeney and Speaker Prieto for their part in making the Jessica Lunsford Act law in New Jersey.”

read more

Simon Statement on “Jessica Lunsford Act” Bill Signing

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblywoman Donna Simon issued the following statement after today’s ceremony where Gov. Christie signed legislation known as the “Jessica Lunsford Act” into law. The new law increases the criminal penalties on those who commit sex crimes against minors. Simon is a co-sponsor of the legislation, A-892.

Donna Simon

“I am relieved and grateful that this critical piece of legislation has finally been signed into law,” said Simon, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex. “Pedophiles who commit unthinkable acts against our children will now face stronger penalties for their crimes. This law will help protect our young people from these heinous offenders.”

read more

Angelini on Ceremonial Signing of the ‘Jessica Lunsford Act’

Press Release – Assembly Republican Deputy Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini, R-Monmouth, issued the statement below following Gov. Christie’s ceremonial signing today of the “Jessica Lunsford Act,” which she sponsored, that imposes a mandatory prison sentence and parole ineligibility terms for convicted pedophiles who assault minors:

Mary Pat Angelini

“This new law is now one of the most significant public safety statutes on the books in the Garden State and a huge victory for our children who will finally receive the protections they deserve from individuals who commit one of society’s most heinous crimes – sexual assault. It was a long process that involved much work and effort on both sides of the aisle, but the end product sends a resounding message to pedophiles that their punishment will now fit their crime.”

The legislation was initially sponsored by the late Assemblyman Eric Muñoz in 2005. Muñoz’ wife, Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset, is the bill’s prime sponsor.

The law is named for Jessica Lunsford, a nine-year-old Florida resident who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a registered sex offender.

read more

Page 1 of 3123
top