OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate unanimously approved a measure Tuesday to protect victims from sexual predators. Sen. James Leewright and Rep. Kyle Hilbert are the authors of House Bill 1124, also known as the Justice for Danyelle Act of 2018, to prohibit sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of their victims.
“Our law already establishes zones of safety around schools, day care centers and parks to keeps sex offenders away from potential victims but there is nothing currently to keep them from moving in next to their victims,” said Leewright, R-Bristow. “This happened in Bristow and Danyelle Dyer was forced to get a protective order against her attacker because he wasn’t doing anything illegal. Victims, though, shouldn’t have to go through the expense and trauma of going to court to protect themselves. We need to get this measure to the governor as quickly as possible so more victims aren’t terrorized in this manner.”
Current law prohibits sex offenders from residing or loitering within a 2,000 foot radius of any public or private school site, education institution, children’s organization, playground or park. HB 1124 would expand the zone of safety to prohibit the offender from loitering within 1,000 feet of the victim’s home or from living within 2,000 feet of the victim’s residence.
“Through her bravery to come forward, Danyelle helped bring this dangerous loophole to our attention as well as other states that also haven’t addressed this needed zone of safety,” said Leewright. “Her advocacy will help protect others from continuing to be victimized emotionally on a daily basis knowing their attacker is so close.”
HB 1124 now goes to the governor’s desk. If signed, the new law will go into effect November 1, 2018.