Measure In Response to Increase In Luring Cases in Bergen County, Statewide
TRENTON – Responding to the recent increase in attempted child luring cases statewide, Senator Richard J. Codey today introduced legislation to enhance penalties for convictions of attempted child abductions.
“The recent spike in child luring reports in the state has shaken residents across New Jersey. This will send a message that we will not stand by and allow our communities to be terrorized by pedophiles or anyone else seeking to cause our children harm. If you lure, you will be sure to go to jail,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex and Morris). “Strengthening our laws by increasing penalties will deter offenders and better protect children in our neighborhoods against a potential abduction.”
More than a dozen child luring cases have been reported in New Jersey in the last two weeks, with the majority of cases in Bergen County, according to a recent report in The Star-Ledger. As a result of the luring cases and the horrific murder of a 12-year-old southern New Jersey girl, at least two Bergen County towns have imposed 8 p.m. curfews for children under age 18 on Oct. 30, known as Mischief Night, and on Oct. 31, Halloween night.
The Senator said his bill would increase penalties for convictions of luring, making the penalty for a first offense a five to 10 year sentence with mandatory time served in prison. Current law allows judges discretion in sentencing a first-time offender to a prison term. Additionally, under Megan’s Law convicted sex offenders are required to register each year with the municipality in which they live. The bill would provide that offenders are provided documentation notifying them of the penalties for certain crimes against children, including luring, and of any other requirements of Megan’s Law that may apply.
The bill is awaiting reference to a Senate committee.