(March 6) – A bill by Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, to crack down on repeat child sex offenders and eliminate the need for victims to endure multiple trials earned unanimous approval from the House this morning.
“This is a bill to crack down on repeat child sex offenders,” said Rep. Danielson on the House floor during second reading. “Any time a child is victimized by a sexual predator, it is a tragedy for the victim and a vile crime that deserves swift punishment. When a child is assaulted multiple times by a pattern offender, law enforcement must be able to use every tool at their disposal to remove the predator from society.”
There is currently a requirement in state law that when a predator victimizes a child in more than one judicial district in Colorado, a separate trial must be held in each jurisdiction where an offense occurred. This means potentially re-traumatizing a child and family for each trial while costing taxpayer dollars.
HB17-1109, also sponsored by Rep. Terri Carver, R-Colorado Springs, allows a prosecutor to charge and bring a pattern-offense case for all such assaults in any jurisdiction where one of the acts occurred. This will allow prosecutors to do their job and not require a victim to go through several trials unnecessarily.
The 64-0 vote sends the bill to the Senate.