Governor Sean Parnell today lauded the Alaska Legislature for passing his comprehensive crime bill that will help protect children and victims of sex trafficking and domestic violence.
"I thank the Legislature for its continued support as we work to end Alaska's high rates of domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse," Governor Parnell said. "This bill will improve the safety of Alaskans by providing stronger protections for victims and survivors. Our work, however, is not done. We are committed to work toward meeting the challenge of keeping Alaska's families safe."
The governor's bill reinforces penalties on the demand side of sex trafficking, strengthens investigative tools to track down and prosecute offenders, and enacts tougher sentencing provisions.
The legislation expands Alaska's rape shield law to protect victims after the assault occurred. It also authorizes the court to order GPS tracking devices on perpetrators, and gives the victims of trafficking the ability to qualify for benefits from the Violent Crimes Compensation Board.
Current statutes will be amended to clarify that probation and parole officers may not engage in sexual conduct with a person on probation or parole. The bill prohibits offenders in custody from contacting a victim if ordered by a court not to do so and eliminates the statute of limitations for cases involving child pornography and trafficking.
Governor Parnell's bill includes several components to protect children at home and in the community. In cases where a parent or guardian has committed abuse against a child, or is a registered sex offender, the Office of Children's Services may be excused from making reunification efforts.