By Bob Beck
Cheyenne, WY – The state Senate has given initial approval of a pair of bills that deals with sexual abuse of a minor. Senators approved a bill that sets a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for a first degree sexual assault. Casper Senator Drew Perkins argues that mandatory sentences could prevent someone from pleading guilty. But Cheyenne Senator Kathryn Sessions says there are protections in the bill.
"Several other violations are still available if the prosecutor does not think they can prove first degree assault. The jury has the ability to choose from a lessor offense. In the sentence to 25 years this is the kicker to me .they are still eligible for parole."
The Senate also approved a bill that does not allow a convicted sex offender to be within 2-thousand feet of a school. Senator Charles Scott raised the concern that someone could simply be going to church and if it is near a school they are in violation of the law. Both bills will be debated two more times in the Senate; they already passed the House.