In response to the countless sex offender loopholes in state statutes, Senator Lauren Book (D-Plantation) offered SB 234 due to inherently flawed state laws that allow sex offenders to avoid registration by failing to pay fines.
This bill was unanimously passed and was one of many of Book’s bills to hit the governor’s desk for the signature of approval.
A victim of childhood sexual abuse herself, Book vows that this legislation will make “Florida’s children and communities safer.”
Book based her legislation off of personal testimony of offenders who committed their crimes with malice intention, yet faced little to no reprimanding for their actions.
For example, in the case of Ray La Vel James, he received a sentence of 15 years prison time and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for molesting two girls of the ages 8 and 11 years old. And according to past reports had a reputation of hanging around children young enough to make your stomach turn.
Book sounded off on James calling him,= “the very definition of someone who should and must be on the sex offender registry,” adding that, “But because of this legal loophole, he could live right next to a community pool if he so chose. Or a school – or a daycare. He could be chatting with children online and we would have no idea.”
Amid her recent success, Book went to her Twitter to publicly put Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) on the spot for his approval of the so widely accepted bill:
Thank you, fellow Senators, for unanimously voting to close a dangerous loophole which allows sex offenders to avoid registration. Already passed by the House, this bill is on its way to @GovRonDeSantis for signing into law! pic.twitter.com/opjkhfA3RE
— Lauren Book (@Book4Senate) April 27, 2021
Book’s bill amends what has been widely recognized as a dangerous oversight conflicting with the spirit of the law. The measure is supported by Attorney General Moody, State Attorneys, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, and others. When signed by the Governor, the bill will go into effect immediately.