DeSantis Signs Slew Of New Laws, Many To Protect Kids From Sex Predators

( – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a series of new laws over the second week in April that will protect children from lascivious predatory adults. DeSantis said that the “anti-grooming legislation” was crafted to punish adults who seek to rob children of their innocence. He also said that Florida is the best state for young families.

The five bills that he signed into law are:

HB 1545 which creates new penalties for grooming and specifically outlaws “explicit and detailed” conversations between adults and minor children regarding adult sexual activities. The law is intended to target groomers who introduce children to sexual topics in conversation before manipulating the child into participating out of curiosity. Groomers often tell kids to keep their conversations a secret to prevent exposure.

HB 1131 established a new grant program in Florida under the auspices of the Department of Law Enforcement which will facilitate sting operations against sexual predators. The funding will allow the state to hire investigators who pretend to be minor children online so they can bait and catch pedophiles.

HB 1235 makes the registration guidelines more severe for criminals who violate children or women.

HB 305 expands the potential for evidence in abuse cases involving a minor to include hearsay if the minor is describing explicit conversations that the adult in question had with him or her. It also enhanced the penalties for anyone convicted of trafficking minors.

SB 1224 adds new training for law enforcement responding to domestic violence calls and increases the role of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office in those situations.

Florida is leading by example highlighting the seriousness of crimes against children and trailblazing attempts to curtail them. Crime is a number one concern of Americans during this election year, and crimes against children are particularly destructive. Sexually violating a child can have lifelong lasting impacts, and child predators typically harm dozens or hundreds of children before they are caught.

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