Mo. Lawmakers Move to Toughen Sexual Violence Laws
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon is considering measures that could send more people convicted of sexually violent crimes to prison with longer sentences.
Lawmakers sent Nixon measures to redefine rape and other violent crimes in an effort put more people behind bars on felony convictions.
Supporters say the measures would increase protections for sexual assault victims. But the state public defender system argues that more people behind bars for longer terms will cost taxpayers.
The legislation also seeks to reverse recent state court rulings blocking civil commitments of sexually violent predators because of technical problems with the state's current law.
Despite these tough stances this year, lawmakers also passed legislation that would keep juveniles off public sex offender registry websites.