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Florida Imposes Serious Penalties for Sex Crimes Against Children

In the wake of the Penn State scandal, sex crimes against children have become a favorite topic for both local and national news media.

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has been charged with 40 crimes stemming from the alleged sexual molestation and rape of eight young boys.

According to the charges, Sandusky abused the boys after developing relationships with them through his charity, The Second Mile. Sandusky founded the charity to help teach self-confidence and other life skills to at-risk youth.

At least one Penn State staffer says he witnessed Sandusky having sexual intercourse with a 10 year-old boy in a locker room shower. Sandusky denies that he had sexual contact with any of the boys. Instead, he said that they had a habit of "horsing around" in the showers after workouts.

Sandusky is expected to stand trial later this year.

Florida Sex Crimes Against Children

In Florida, perpetrators of child sexual abuse and other sex crimes involving children face significant criminal penalties.

Following the passage of "Jessica's Law" in 2005, all convicted child predators in Florida face mandatory minimum prison sentences of 25 years and lifetime electronic monitoring. Sexual battery or rape of a child under the age of 12 is punishable by life imprisonment without the chance of parole.

Florida used to impose the death penalty on convicted child rapists. However, this law was ruled unconstitutional in 2008.

Convicted sex offenders will also be required to enroll in the Florida Sex Offender Registry. Registered sex offenders are subject to tracking by the state of Florida and will have their name, photograph, address, vehicle and other identifying information made available to the public.

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