New "child safety zones" protecting children from sexual predat - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

New "child safety zones" protecting children from sexual predators

Posted: Updated:
 By Jennifer Petracca

news@abc6.com 

With the passing of the House bill, lawmakers are designating the first-ever “child safe zones” in Rhode Island.

These “safe zones” aim to shield children from sexual predators.

The bills prohibit registered sex offenders from working at any programs, services, or places, intended primarily for kids.

A “child safe zone” is defined as any facility where is a minor is present, such as movie theaters, libraries, elementary and secondary schools, arcades, fairs, carnivals, playgrounds, recreational or sport-related activity areas, swimming pools, beaches, and health care facilities intended primarily for minors when a minor is present.

Any individual responsible for hiring a registered sex offender is subject to a $1,000 fine for each day that the offender is employed.

Any offenders who purposely omit their registration status to an employer of a child safety zone would be guilty of a felony, facing up to 5 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,000. The same charges go to offenders who own or operate an entity that is a child safety zone.

The act also requires inquiry as to the sexual registration status of potential employees, operators, and owners.

The act is sponsored by Rep. Mia A. Ackerman on behalf of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.

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