Sex Offender Registry and Sexting Bills Focus of Tuesday Hearing

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Guam – The cyber bullying and sexting bill and an act to repeal and reenact the Guam sex offender registry were some of the bills discussed during Tuesdays’s public hearing at the legislature.

Senator B.J. Cruz introduced a bill (436-30) that deals with minors who break the current cyber bullying and sexting law. Deputy Attorney General Carol Sanchez from the Family Division, she worked closely with former Guam Attorney General Alicia Limtiaco and Cruz on this legislation. Sanchez says several pieces of this act aside from the cyber bullying portions and sexting, also deals with harassment and the current stalking law that are in place on Guam.

Sanchez says we are asking for support of this legislation because we want out children to be educated for their actions if they didn’t intend to commit a crime.

Sanchez says, “We have an ongoing case and I can’t give any details. But a girl took a picture of herself and posted it on Facebook. She told her friend the picture was on her Facebook because she wanted advice from her friend to see if it looked nice. Then the picture went to 20 other people. Now we are in a dilemma because its child pornography, but at the same time, the intent wasn’t to distribute a nude image, the intent was to give it to her boyfriend.”

Sanchezsaid , we want to be able to educate the community and with this sexting legislation it not only allows us to divert them and not treat them severely,  but it will allow us to educate them on the consequences of what could happen.

Another bill discussed was an act to repeal and reenact the Guam sex offender registry. According to Senator Adolpho Palacios, chair of the Committee on Public Safety and Law Enforcement, says the sexual offender registry is a proposal to incorporate some of the federal statutes are recognized throughout the rest of the country.

According to Palacios, this will enhance the notification process, actually the sex offender registry is a notification process for the people of Guam. There will be a timely notification and more responsibilities have been placed on the sex offender themselves in suspect to updating the registration. There are very strict time limits on when they must register or there will be strict penalties.

Palacios says All these things strengthens our current statutes and it ensures consistency. This will also give recognition to Guam, because if this bill is passed into law, Guam will be one of seven jurisdictions in the country that will follow this strict program.