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Sexual abuse laws need to be toughened

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By The Staff

Did you know that in Kentucky there is a tougher penalty for cock fighting, if you own one of the roosters or the fight occurs on your property, than for sexually abusing a 12-year-old child?

The following changes to Kentucky's sexual abuse laws are being proposed. House Bill 211 includes the following:

- Changing the ages covered in first-degree child sexual abuse (defined as abuse other than rape or sodomy) from "up to 12" to "up to 16 years of age."

- Adding knowingly masturbating in front of a child to first-degree abuse and increasing the age when the offender is a person of trust.

- Increasing the penalty for not reporting child sexual abuse when it occurs a second or third time.

- Increasing the statute of limitations from one year after the incident to five years after the last incident, or five years after the 18th birthday or five years after a person first comes to realize he or she was abused (the five years listed here is already in the civil laws).

Kentucky is one of only seven states that have not increased the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse.

For more information go to www.lrc.gov and click on Kentucky laws on the left, then click on Kentucky Revised Statues, double click on Access KRS through Title and Chapter and scroll down to Chapter 510. You can find the present laws there. If you agree with and want to support these revisions, call your legislator at (800) 372-7181.

When you call, all you need to say is that you support HB 211. Using your address, your message will be directed to the proper legislator.

Shannon Whalen

Louisville