Danielson: Protecting children from predators

Column by State Rep. Jessie Danielson

Any time a child is victimized by a sexual predator it is a tragedy for the victim and a vile crime that deserves swift punishment. When a child is assaulted multiple times by a pattern offender, law enforcement must be able to use every tool at their disposal to remove the predator from society. When there are bureaucratic barriers making it harder to hold sexual predators accountable, it is our job in the state legislature to break them down so we care helping prosecutors do their job.

One of those barriers is a current requirement in state law that when a predator victimizes a child in more than one judicial district in Colorado, a separate trial must be held in each jurisdiction where an offense occurred. This means potentially re-traumatizing a child for each trial while costing untold taxpayer dollars in order to pursue justice for pattern offenders. That’s a lot of expensive red tape which just delays justice.

That is why I am sponsoring bipartisan legislation that will allow prosecutors to try a sex-assault-on-a-child defendant on all charges committed anywhere in Colorado in any one county where a child was victimized.

Passing this law will help prosecutors get justice for victims more quickly and at less cost to taxpayers. This is just one common sense way that Democrats and Republicans at the state capitol are working together to help law enforcement do their jobs – making our communities safer and protecting children from predators.

State Rep. Jessie Danielson serves House District 24, which includes Golden, Wheat Ridge and other Jefferson County communities. She is Speaker Pro Tem of the State House. To find out more about Rep. Danielson’s community events or to talk to her directly, call her cell at 720-276-3468 or visit www.jessiedanielson.com.

op-edRachel Caine