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.
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.”
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.