Jindal signs new laws to protect La. children

BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal has signed House Bill 1259 into law. The new law criminalizes the “transmission of electronic textual, visual, written, or oral communication with the malicious and willful intent to coerce, abuse, torment, or intimidate a person under the age of 18.”

Bullies who are over the age of 17 will face maximum of $500 fine and up to six months in jail. Younger offenders will undergo counseling.

The bill was fiercely debated during the legislative session that ended last month with the end result being a softer sentence for offenders under 17 years of age.

Jindal also signed into law nine bills he touted as important to cracking down on sexual predators. House Bill 1436, requires principals to post photographs of convicted sexual offenders living near school campuses. The photographs must be posted where children can see them. This is in addition to already posting a offender’s names, addresses, and crimes on campuses.

Two other bills that are now laws are House Bill 191 which creates a life sentence for habitual sex offenders who prey on children under the age of 13 and House 193 to give subpoena authority to law enforcement officials investigating certain sex offenses against minors.

The new authority applies to the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections, State Police, the state Attorney General’s Office, Sheriff’s Offices and members of the Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

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