TOPEKA – (May 21, 2012) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today said Kansas children will be safer from violent predators because of the work of the 2012 Kansas Legislature.
Schmidt praised legislators for enacting the entire child-protection agenda he recommended in January, when the legislative session began. The session ended yesterday.
“In a year marked by sharp differences over many issues, legislators should be proud of the broad support they gave to child-protection legislation,” Schmidt said. “There was no disagreement that protecting our kids from violent and sexual crimes must remain a top state priority.”
The legislature enacted all of the child-protection recommendations Schmidt made in January. They include:
- Establishing a dedicated Crimes Against Children investigation unit at the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (included in budget bill, S.B. 294).
- Expanding the digital forensics capacity at the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (included in budget bill, S.B. 294).
- Extending the statute of limitations for prosecuting violent sex crimes against children to the victim’s 23rd birthday, making it more difficult for predators to avoid prosecution by running out the clock (introduced as H.B. 2494, approved in S.B. 307).
- Prohibiting the reproduction of child pornography images during criminal discovery (H.B. 2464).
- Reducing the number of times a child victim must testify during proceedings to civilly commit sexually violent predators (S.B. 280)
- Strengthening the prohibition on sexual relations between foster parents and foster children (introduced as S.B. 279, approved in H.B. 2613).
- Restoring the original intent in Jessica's Law that certain predators who prey on children can be sentenced to lifetime supervision by the sentencing court, not by the prisoner review board (H.B. 2465).
Schmidt said further announcements on the new child-protection capacities at the Kansas Bureau of Investigation will be made in the coming weeks.