Missouri General Assembly supports additional restrictions on sex offenders

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 | 4:14 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri General Assembly has given initial approval to ban sex offenders from knowingly loitering within 500 feet of a park or from coaching a sports team with members younger than age 17.

A first violation could be punishable  by up to four years in prison and later offenses by up to seven years.

House members attached the provision Wednesday to a crime bill, which received first-round approval. A second vote is needed to send the bill to the Senate.

It would apply to Missouri sex offenders and those convicted in other states, countries or tribal courts of offenses that would violate Missouri's sex offender laws.

Democrats argued against applying the ban to sex offenders convicted in other countries, saying some governments might coerce guilty pleas. Their attempt to delete the foreign court portion was defeated.


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