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New Law Will Help Track 100,000 Missing Sex Offenders

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July 26, 2006 — RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) commends the U.S. Congress and the president for a vitally-needed new law that will crack down on 100,000 missing sex offenders and help keep the nation's children safe from predators.

The measure, known as the "The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006" was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush. The bill is named to honor the memory of six-year-old Adam Walsh, who was abducted and murdered 25 years ago.

"Today, nearly one out of every five paroled sex offenders (100,000 in all) has gone missing, said Scott Berkowitz," RAINN's president. "They've evaded state laws, exploited loopholes and disappeared, free to use their newfound anonymity to prey on new victims. This new law will help put an end to that freedom. Soon, law enforcement will be able to track them down and keep them in sight, leaving us all safer. The new law will also help hire new prosecutors to keep pace with the many cases being solved with DNA evidence, and will criminalize Internet sales of 'rape drugs.' This is a landmark bill that's going to make a real difference."

RAINN is pleased to have worked with members of both chambers on the development and passage of this legislation. RAINN credits the bill's chief sponsors, House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Bill Frist (R-TN), Joe Biden (D-DE), and Charles Grassley (R-IA) as well as Reps. Mark Foley (R-FL), Mark Green (R-WI), and the bill’s other co-sponsors for working together, in a bipartisan way, to overcome hurdles and enact this legislation. The bill:

  • Makes it a felony to fail to comply with sex offender registration requirements.
  • Requires sex offenders to regularly check in with parole officials, to reduce the number who disappear from the system.
  • Makes available to the public, through the creation of a new national sex offender registry and website, better and more consistent information about sex offenders.
  • Closes loopholes in current registration requirements, thereby preventing sex offenders from taking advantage of differences among the states’ laws to avoid registering with law enforcement.
  • Enhances criminal penalties for child sexual abuse, sex trafficking of children, and other violent crimes against children.
  • Provides for hiring 200 additional government attorneys to prosecute sex crimes against children.
  • Authorizes grants to train and hire personnel to help prosecute cases cleared through use of DNA.
  • Criminalizes Internet sales of certain ‘rape drugs.’

You can read the full text of the bill online.


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