Christie signs Jessica Lunsford Act into law; legislation toughens sex offender sentences

Sex offenders will now face tougher prison sentences

Sex offenders will now face tougher prison sentences thanks to a bill signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie Monday. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

TRENTON - Sex offenders will now face tougher prison sentences thanks to a bill signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie Monday.

The Jessica Lunsford Act, named after a 13-year-old who was raped and murdered in 2005, means anyone who is convicted of abusing a child younger than 13 will go to prison for 25 years without parole.

"Today we're ensuring justice is served," Christie says. "It will hopefully be a deterrent to prevent these heinous acts and the life-changing trauma they bring from being committed at all, but when they are committed, to make sure that justice is done swiftly and surely and significantly."

Jessica's father was with the governor when he signed the law.

Prosecutors would be allowed to negotiate a 15-year sentence to keep some victims from having to testify.

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