House Bill 259

149th General Assembly (Present)

Bill Progress

Signed 7/1/18
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified

Bill Details

6/23/17
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SENTENCES FOR SEXUAL OFFENSES.
In 2006, Delaware enacted “Jessica’s Law,” which requires first time offenders convicted of a specified sexual offense against a child under 14 years of age and individuals previously convicted of a Class A or B sexual offense in Title 11 and subsequently convicted of a specified sexual offense sentences be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison, up to life. The specified sexual offenses in “Jessica’s Law” are Rape in the Third Degree (where the defendant engages in sexual penetration with the victim without the victim’s consent or with a victim who is under 16 years of age and causes physical injury or serious mental or emotional injury); Rape in the Second Degree; Rape in the First Degree; Dangerous Crime Against a Child; Sexual Offender Unlawful Sexual Conduct Against a Child; and Sexual Abuse of a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust, Authority, or Supervision in the First Degree (where the defendant engages in sexual penetration or sexual intercourse with a child under 16 years of age). Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Nation Incident-Based Reporting System indicates that 1 of every 7 victims of sexual assaults is under the age of 6. This Act updates “Jessica’s Law,” enhancing penalties for especially vulnerable victims, as follows: (1) Requiring that an individual convicted of one of the specified offenses in “Jessica’s Law” be sentenced to an additional 5 years in prison if the victim is a child under the age of 7. (2) Requiring that an individual convicted of Unlawful Sexual Contact in the First Degree (involving a child under the age of 13) or Kidnapping in the Second Degree (for the purpose of violating or abusing the victim sexually) be sentenced to at least 5 years in jail if the victim is a child under the age of 7. (3) Requiring that an individual convicted of Kidnapping in the First Degree (for the purpose of violating or abusing the victim sexually) be sentenced to at least 10 years in jail if the victim is a child under the age of 7. Additionally, this Act requires the Superior Court to impose these sentences upon the application of the State.
81:297
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7/1/18

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