State News

Gov. Easley signs 'Jessica's Law'

Posted July 28, 2008 4:21 p.m. EDT
Updated July 28, 2008 4:29 p.m. EDT

— Sex offenders who commit certain crimes against children will face at least 25 years in prison under a new North Carolina law.

Gov. Mike Easley on Monday signed into law a measure which raises the penalties for adult offenders who commit certain sex crimes against children - including rape. The new law requires judges to sentence child sex offenders to a minimum 25 years in prison. Offenders who are released will be monitored by satellite for life.

The measure, which is known as Jessica's Law, is named after former Gaston County resident Jessica Lunsford. In 2005, the 9-year-old was kidnapped, raped and buried alive by a convicted sex offender in Florida.

Jessica's father, Mark Lunsford, attended the bill signing ceremony which was held in the county seat of Gastonia.