Florida governor signs tougher sexual predator measures

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Sexual predators will receive longer sentences and will have a tougher time being released under a package of bills Gov. Rick Scott signed into law.

Scott signed the four bills Tuesday during a ceremony packed with lawmakers, law enforcement officers and advocates who fight against sexual violence.

In addition to longer sentences, the legislation attempts to close loopholes in the Jimmy Ryce Act. That law allows for the psychiatric review of sexually violent offenders after they finish their prison sentences. Those considered too dangerous are then committed to a treatment center.

Lawmakers in both chambers have said the inspiration for strengthening the laws came from the death of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle last June and a newspaper investigation on sexual predators who were released only to commit more crimes.


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