Public hearing discusses changes to sex offender law - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Public hearing discusses changes to sex offender law

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DES MOINES (KWWL) - Iowa lawmakers promise quick action on a measure to overhaul the state's laws dealing with sex offenders.

It has to do with where offenders can and cannot live.
Some complain the law leaves few living-options for offenders.

Up until now, offenders have been barred from living within 2,000 feet of places where children gather, like schools, libraries, and playgrounds.

The changes would continue to ban offenders from living in those areas, but some lawmakers say it would only apply to people convicted of the most serious offenses involving children.

A public hearing was held in Des Moines Monday night.  Most people were in favor of changing the law.

Officers from eastern Iowa showed up to speak.

Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said, "It's time we get serious and strengthen this law. The 2,000 foot law is okay. We need to make it stronger."

Pulkrabek says he was only sheriff for a few months when one of Iowa's worst crimes against children occured.

10-year-old Jetseta Gage of Cedar Rapids was kidnapped and killed by convicted sex offender Roger Bentley in 2005.
His brother James is also behind bars on charges he also abused the girl.

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