A new tough bill on sex offenders is in the works that would give judges more leeway in setting terms for convicted child molesters who get out of jail, including where they can live and whether they can access online porn.
The Legal Services Department has prepared legislation to address concerns that a number of sex offenders were not being monitored properly. The problem culminated in September following public outcry over the presidential pardon of a convicted man who lived nearby his female victim, who was a minor at the time of the crime.
He was quickly re-arrested on unrelated charges, appeared before a judge, and ordered to go on a sex offender registration list. President Nicos Anastasiades, who had signed off on a general pardon for a number of jailed convicts earlier this year, later apologised to the now-victim and her family and also publicly admitted the error.
According to daily Phileleftheros, the new bill will allow judges to forbid child molesters - who have been convicted of a sexual crime against minors - of using a SIM card-operated mobile phone. The logic behind the proposed measure is to deny predators any anonymity they could have when calling their victims, according to the source.
The new bill will allow judges to forbid convicted child molesters to use a SIM card-operated mobile phone
The burden of additional measures will also fall with the judge, who will need to decide whether the predator should be allowed to have access to porn sites on the internet, live near a school area, or reside close to his or her victim’s home even when the victim is an adult.
A correction officer tasked with supervising child molesters on parole will also be required to notify their new life partners or spouses of the parolee’s background, while known sexual predators arriving from an EU country and staying over seven days in the Republic of Cyprus will also be liable to measures taken against them.
The bill also calls for gaps to be addressed in the system where psychiatric evaluations and social services take a more active role in the lives and whereabouts of child molesters following their release into society.
Legislation is expected to head to the House following the approval by the Cabinet.