Rep. Matt Simpson’s bill to make second degree sexual abuse a Class C felony passed the Alabama House of Representatives this week and awaits action from the Senate Judiciary committee.
As a former district attorney for Baldwin and Mobile Counties who dealt with child sex crimes, Simpson said he fully understands the needs for enhanced sentencing for those who commit sex abuse on young people.
“This is a simple bill to understand – if you commit sexual abuse on someone 15 years younger than you, there are going to be serious additional consequences,” Simpson said.
Currently, second degree sexual abuse is a Class A Misdemeanor. Under Simpson’s bill, the crime would be upgraded to a Class C felony if the victim is between the ages of 12 to 15 and is 15 years or more younger than the abuser. A Class C felony carries with it a penalty of between one year and one day and 10 years in jail.
“This bill helps protect our children and makes sure we’re punishing people who would seek to harm them,” Simpson said. “Keeping them behind bars for the crimes they’ve committed against children keeps our streets safer and helps give all of us greater peace of mind.”
Simpson said he is working with senators from around the state to make sure the bill passes through the Senate.
“This is common sense legislation that helps keep all of our children and grandchildren safe,” Simpson said.