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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Bills would extend protections for victims of sexual violence

Rep. Jocelyne Rodríguez Negrón

By The Star Staff

With the aim of continuing to safeguard the safety of citizens in Puerto Rico, Rep. Jocelyne Rodríguez Negrón has filed two measures that provide protection to victims of sexual violence: House Bills (HB) 2144 and 2142.

HB 2144 seeks to amend Law 266-2004, known as the “Law on the Registration of Persons Convicted of Sexual Crimes and Abuse of Minors,” with the aim of clarifying and reestablishing the original legislative intent by including the crime of lewd and lascivious acts committed against adult victims as a Type II Sex Offense, and that every person convicted of that crime be part of that registry and that its application be retroactive.

“The purpose of amending this law is exclusively to protect the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable and deserving sectors of our society, which are the victims of sexual crimes, regardless of their age,” Rodríguez Negrón said.

“With these measures we seek to provide more protection, and although we understand the right to rehabilitation, the safety of the victims must prevail,” she added. “We must be emphatic and join efforts aimed at preventing other women from being victims of these people who, on many occasions, commit the same acts again.”

HB 2142 seeks to amend Law 25-1992, known as the “Law for the Discharge of AIDS and Other Terminal Illness Patients Who Are Confined in Penal Institutions or Interned in Puerto Rico’s Juvenile Institutions,” in order to clarify that those convicted of sexual assault, lewd acts, incest or child pornography in all its forms are excluded from consideration for the benefits of the aforementioned law.

“We cannot allow a sex offender to enjoy the benefits of Law 25-1992 and be in the free community molesting his victims or other innocent people who could be affected by the presence of a person with that conviction in the free community,” said the House District 19 (Mayagüez and San Germán) legislator.

“It is imperative to be able to temper this law to the times we live in, where cases of this nature are becoming more notorious and atrocious,” Rodríguez Negrón added. “The victims live their whole lives in fear and anguish of reliving the situation that in one way or another changed their lives forever, so the right of the victim must be safeguarded, and the mental health and peace that were taken away from them must not suffer further damage.”

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