New bills would limit where sexual offenders can go
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New bills would limit where sexual offenders can go

Date: February 11, 2009
By: Nathan Higgins
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 131, HB 105, HB 106

Intro: One Missouri legislator's bill aims to keep sex offenders out of public parks and off the bench of your kid's recreational league team. 

Nathan Higgins has more from the Jefferson City.

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The House's Crime Prevention committee heard several bills which would prevent sex offenders from being youth athletic coaches.

Bill sponsor Jackson County Republican Will Kraus says the bills, if signed into law, will also keep convicted sex offenders out of state and public parks.

Actuality:  KRAUS.WAV
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Description: "We're trying to make a safe haven, if you will, a place that kids can actually play and have a little bit more reason  to being safe there."


A spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources said it would be difficult to enforce this kind of law because the parks are so big and there are not enough park rangers to control who goes in and out.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Nathan Higgins.


Intro: Sex offenders would not be allowed near state or public parks in addition to youth sports sidelines according to several bills proposed to the House's Crime Prevention committee.

Nathan Higgins has more from Jefferson City.

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Jackson County Republican Representative Will Kraus says he wants convicted sex offenders off the sidelines of children's sports leagues and out of the state and public parks they play in. 

Concerned father Mason Hackler supports the bill barring offenders from strolling the sidelines as youth athletic coaches.

Hackler says current laws are too weak.

Actuality:  HACKLER.WAV
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Description: "If a sex offender is on a school property, it is a Class A misdemeanor. I can tell you in many cases, it is just being ignored. It's not strict enough and it's just being ignored."

One Democrat on the committee says he is worried the bills are not specific enough to actively target sex offenders.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Nathan Higgins.


Intro: Sex offenders would be barred from the sidelines of kids sporting events and from getting anywhere close to public and state parks. Opponents of the bills say they limit sex offenders' rights.

Nathan Higgins has more from the Jefferson City.

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Bills presented to the House Crime Prevention committee call for holding back sex offenders from entering state and public parks, as well as coaching in youth sports leagues.

Criminal defense lawyer Dan Dodson says the bills would personally effect sex offenders' relationship with their own kids. 

 

Actuality:  DODS4.WAV
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Description: "There are good reasons to use parks and someone pointed out just a little bit ago that you know, some offenders have their own children and have reasons to go to parks."


Dodson says the bills should provide an exemption for offenders who work as builders or landscapers in parks.

Supporters of the bill say they believe the bill is necessary to ensure children's safety.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Nathan Higgins.