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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
405-521-5774


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For Immediate Release: March 4, 2008

Sen. Cliff Aldridge
Sen. Cliff Aldridge

Senate Approves Bill to Place Child Abusers on Violent Crime Registry

The State Senate has given full approval to a bill that would require convicted child abusers to be listed on the state’s violent crime registry. Senate Bill 1601, by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, was approved unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday. The measure would also make it illegal for convicted abusers to work with children.

“As far as I am concerned, a person who has been convicted of hurting a child has no business taking care of other people’s children,” said Aldridge, R-Midwest City. “By placing the names of these abusers on the violent crime registry, we can better protect our most vulnerable citizens.”

Under SB1601, any person convicted of the physical or sexual abuse or neglect of a child would be required to register with the state as a violent offender. Businesses and individuals throughout the state would then have access to both the violent offender and sex offender registry. Employers failing to conduct annual screenings through the two registries could be subject to a misdemeanor charge carrying a fine of up to $1,000.

“You wouldn’t hire a convicted sex offender to take care of your child, and you certainly wouldn’t want to hire someone who had beaten a child,” Aldridge said. “This makes sure parents and childcare providers know who those abusers are and makes sure they aren’t in a position to hurt someone else’s children.”

Convicted child abusers who fail to register under the Mary Rippy Act could be charged with a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Sen. Aldridge said the bill may eventually be amended to prevent those convicted of abuse from working with vulnerable adults, such as those in nursing homes or assisted living centers.

The bill now awaits consideration by the House of Representatives.

For more information contact:
Senator Aldridge's Office:  (405) 521-5584

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