Senate passes bill to limit jobs for sex offenders - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Senate passes bill to limit jobs for sex offenders

By Jim Shannon - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Senate law committee passed a bill Tuesday that could change the lives of some Louisiana sex offenders. The bill, if passed, would keep convicted sex offenders from holding certain jobs. The job prohibition would last for the entire time the offender has to stay registered.

The bill, unfortunately, has a name attached to its history. In March, Justin Bloxom, 13, thought he was talking to a 13-year-old girl through text message.

"The taxi cab driver was posing as a 13-year-old girl by the name of Amanda," said DeSoto Parish Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle. "Well, the young boy thought he was talking to Amanda, when in fact, he was talking to a sex offender who was operating this taxi cab. He picked him up at 3:00 this morning and killed him about five miles down the road."

In response to that murder, Sen. Sherri Cheek, R-Keithville, filed SB 780, which would prohibit registered sex offenders from holding certain jobs, including driving a taxi.

"Right now, you're seeing a team of district attorneys, the attorney general and the law enforcement community is going through to make sure that we're crafting language that is enforceable," said Cheek.

Opponents of the measure say it has some inherent constitutional issues. Cheek says they are working on it.

"…I think between here and the floor from the Senate, you're going to see some additional language put into the bill, perhaps some additional employment that these offenders would not be allowed to do, frankly, for the protection of the general public, but especially for the protection of minors," she added.

Copyright 2010 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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