After four years of work finally we have seen the passage of our bill that eliminates the statute of limitation on child molestation. House bill 1176 passed the Assembly 164-1 and won unanimous approval in the Senate. The Governor will sign this legislation which is an overall reform of Georgia criminal law.
At first, I and others were misled by language in the reform act, but after scrutiny, I find nothing that is unconstitutional and therefore I support the act and I am happy that the work of so many people has finally come to fruition.
What our portion of the bill does, in my mind, is two-fold: it strikes fear in the hearts of child predators that they may at any time in their twisted lives be prosecuted for their crimes; it also brings child “molestation” to the level of what it actually is and that is a “violent assault.”
After all this work, I don’t want anyone to tell me thank you and neither does any of the other people who made this happen. What we want you to do is arm your children with the knowledge they need to protect themselves, and make sure that your relationship with them is close enough that they feel comfortable telling you if they find themselves entering into a situation they intuitively know is wrong. Predators do not strike at random, they reel their victims in slowly. You can prevent that if you have a strong, honest relationship with your child.
But in the cases where children wait until adults to come forward, if they have credible information then the “Ed Melones” living in Georgia can no longer hide behind the law…And I hope a man living in Lincoln County is reading this. Yep, you SOB I finally beat you.