Under new laws soon to be implemented by the Australian government, convicted pedophiles could be sentenced to life in prison. The New South Wales region of Australia has overhauled their policies for repeat child abusers, in response to growing concern from citizens about the government’s failure to handle crime of this nature. The legal overhaul includes new offenses for those who fail to report child abuse or protect the victims.
There are also measures to prevent powerful people from using their reputations in court to show they have good character, especially in cases where the abuser’s reputation is what gave them access to children and provided cover for their crimes in the first place. Most serious of all, repeat offenders could face life in prison if the prosecutor or judge decide that it is neccesary, and there will be pressure on them to adhere to the new standards for sentencing. There are also new charges for grooming or paying off adults in order to access their children.
“We are tightening the laws, we’re making sure NSW is not leaving any stone unturned in the relation to the protection of children,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, according to ABC.
The laws will be introduced into NSW Parliament in the next few months, and they have huge impliations for ophanages, children’s charities and especially the Catholic Church. The church has previously been shielded from investigation and were often able to handle these types of problems internally, without any particpation or knowlege of the legal system.
Under the new laws there will also be changes to the expectations placed on victims in court. Previously, victims needed to prove that the assaults in question took place at specfic times and places, but that requirement will be relaxed for future cases involving sex crimes against children. Under the new laws, the prosecution will only need to prove that the abuse happened, but not the specifics of the incidents.
In recent years, there has been an increase in concern about sex crimes against children, and some governments are begining to crack down.
A French man who was traveling in Indonesia on a tourist visa was arrested by police in the capital city of Jakarta, after he was found sexually assaulting two young girls in a hotel room. The suspect, 65-year-old Francois Abello Camille, was accused of molesting and beating over 300 children, after video evidence was found in possession during the arrest.
The Indonesian government is taking the matter very seriously, and if convicted of the charges against him, Camille may face the death penalty. At the very least, he will spend a minimum of 10 years in prison. If he receives the death penalty, the method of punishment will be firing squad.
Last year, in the United States, the state of Alabama passed a law that would allow for the chemical castration of certain individuals who were accusd of sex crimes against children.
For these offenders, chemicals will be used that will reduce their libido, and hopefully the likelihood of them repeating their crimes. Critics of the bill said that it was unconstitutional, claiming that it violates a person’s right to freedom from “cruel and unusual punishment.”