New Jersey lawmakers weigh 25-year mandatory prison terms for sex offenders who exploit children

SCP's Stacie Rumenap testified in New Jersey this month in support of Senate Bill 380, a bill known as Jessica's Law that mandates prison sentences of 25 years to life for repeat sex offenders who sexually assault children under the age of 13. Rumenap joined Mark Lunsford, Jessica's father and chairman of SCP's advisory board of directors, in Trenton, where they appeared before the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

"Let's stop playing games with these guys. The key word is they're repeat offenders. They're not going to stop," Lunsford told the committee, who ultimately voted unanimously in support of the legislation.

Sen. Diane Allen, the bill's primary sponsor, is hopeful the full Legislature will approve the measure. "Imagine, if you can, somebody who takes advantage of a small child, who sexually assaults a small child, and then goes on and assaults another one and another one.

"If we can get that person off the streets and in prison for a very lengthy period of time, society wins," Allen said.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Follow up letters have been sent to New Jersey Senator Paul Sarlo, chairman of that committee.

Forty-four states have enacted Jessica's Law.

The bill and SCP's testimony generated press coverage throughout the state, including in the following outlets: