Senator Kissel Helps Lead Passage of Jessica’s Law in State Senate

May 3, 2006

Legislation Would Establish Mandatory Minimums for Sexual Assault of a Child

State Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) spearheaded the charge to pass legislation in the state Senate last night that would increase penalties for criminals who sexually assault children. The language was added as an amendment on state Senate Bill 360 and patterned after “Jessica’s Law”, which passed in Florida in response to the kidnapping and killing of 9 year old Jessica Lunsford by a released criminal who was wanted for probation violations.

Specifically, the compromise legislation mandates a 25 year prison term for a first offense and life imprisonment for a second offense for individuals convicted of first degree, second degree and aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 13, as well as for promoting prostitution of a minor.

“Sexual assault of a child is just an unspeakable act so I am very pleased that I was able to help get this legislation that mandates these stronger sentences passed in the Senate,” said Senator Kissel, who is the Ranking Senator on the Judiciary Committee. “Those convicted of these heinous crimes should know that we as a state find these actions absolutely intolerable. If these crimes are committed, the perpetrators deserve to face these severe sentences.”

Senator Kissel, along with his Senate Republican colleagues, has advocated throughout the legislative session for these stronger state penalties for sex offenders who prey on children. He led negotiations to help Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats reach a compromise on the final bill.

“I would like to thank my colleagues Senate Republican Leader Lou DeLuca (R-Woodbury) and Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore John McKinney (R-Fairfield) as well as Senate President Donald E. Williams (D-Brooklyn) and Senator Majority Leader Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) for their hard work and dedication which helped ensure that this compromise bill had support on both sides of the aisle in the Senate.”

Senator Kissel is a Deputy Minority Leader. He represents the seventh district communities of East Granby, Enfield, Granby, Somers, Suffield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.