MISSOURI -- Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt recently signed legislation that he says will further enhance laws to better protect Missouri children from sexual predators, especially those who use the Internet in their search for young victims.
Senate Bill 714 requires registered sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses and other online identifiers to county law enforcement before using them. This information will be made available to Missourians so they can further protect their children when they use the Internet, Blunt said in a news release.
The legislation gives Cyber Crimes Task Forces and Missouri prosecutors a powerful new tool to go after Internet predators by creating the new crime of "age misrepresentation with the intent to use the Internet to engage in criminal sexual misconduct with a minor, which is classified as a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison," Blunt added.
He said the legislation also allows courts to accept children's testimony in court cases involving child pornography without the children having to be in the courtroom.
The legislation also mandates a lifetime sentence with a minimum of 30 years for serious sexual crimes committed against young children and calls for certain sex offenders to be monitored their entire lives.
Oregon County Deputy Lee Simmons said no registered sex offenders in Oregon County have yet to register their e-mail addresses at the sheriff's office. Simmons handles the registration of sex offenders in the county.