Guam – Three bills have been introduced in the legislature, seeking to combat the rising number of criminal sexual assault cases on Guam.
Speaker Tina Muna Barnes’ Bill 50-35 would address “teen love” and what happens when a relationship that begins in high school continues after one partner reaches the adult age. “Lovers in high school should not become felons and put on a sex-offender registry” Muna Barnes said.
When Muna Barnes introduced the safety valve bill two terms ago, she included a provision stating that the safety valve element would not apply to criminal sex conduct. It was removed on the floor.
“Children are the most vulnerable victims in the community and deserve the utmost protection. This statutory amendment serves to deter sexual predators from targeting these vulnerable victims and sends a message to these predators that the consequences of their actions will be severe. If you commit a sex crime against a minor, I want it to be clear, that there is no way to get out of it,” said Speaker Barnes.
The speaker’s second Bill No.51-35 would prohibit judges from applying the existing safety valve law on any case that involves the criminal sexual conduct of a minor.
Meanwhile, Sen. “Pedo” Terlaje’s Bill 52-50 creates mandatory minimum sentences for repeat sex offenders.
“Protecting those most vulnerable in our community, our Women and Children is a top priority of mine,” said Terlaje. “I want to thank my colleagues and the Office of the Attorney General of Guam for collaborating with me on this measure that we believe will act as a deterrent to repeat offenders of criminal sexual conduct.”
All three measures were co-sponsored by Sen. Régine Biscoe Lee and Sen. Amanda Shelton.