Oklahoma State Senate
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: May 23, 2008
Senate Approves Bill to Protect Oklahomans from Predators
The state Senate on Friday approved a bill that would increase
penalties for date rape as well as create new laws against the desecration
of human bodies and aggravated child pornography possession. Sens.
Jonathan Nichols, Jim Reynolds and James A. Williamson praised the
Senate’s passage of the measure, and addressed the importance
of providing protection for Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens.
Nichols, author of Senate Bill 1992, said there were three critical
elements in the measure. The bill includes his language creating
the crime of aggravated child pornography, which would result in
a life prison term for anyone convicted of possessing 100 or more
images of child pornography.
“These are people who peddle child pornography, and who
collect and trade images. Each and every one of those images is
graphic evidence of a horrible crime committed against a child,
sometimes even infants,” Nichols said. “Locking these
offenders in prison is the only way to stop them and protect our
children from these predators.”
SB 1992 also includes language by Williamson to close a loophole
in Oklahoma’s rape laws that came to light in recent months
in a Tulsa County case. A male nurse gave sedatives to a female
patient and then raped her, but prosecutors learned he could not
be charged with first-degree rape, which carries a stronger sentence.
“Under current law, an individual convicted of date rape
can only be charged with second-degree rape. This language ensures
that even if a woman has been drugged or is intoxicated, the person
who assaulted her will be charged with first-degree rape,”
said Williamson, R-Tulsa.
The third component of the bill would, for the first time, make
it a crime to desecrate a human body. Known as Jenny’s Law,
Reynolds said a person convicted under this statute would face up
to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $8,000.
Reynolds explained the law is named for Jennifer Sipes, who was
murdered and then her body was burned beyond recognition by her
killer in the hopes of thwarting a positive identification.
“Her killer was charged and convicted for her murder. He
was also convicted of arson because of the grass that burned around
her body, but Jenny’s parents were distraught when they found
he could not be charged for mutilating her corpse,” said Reynolds,
R-Oklahoma City. “This is a heinous crime, and we ought to
have a way of holding those who would do such a horrible thing accountable.”
For more information
Sen. Nichols' Office: (405) 521-5535
Sen. Reynolds' Office: (405) 521-5522
Sen. Williamson's Office: (405) 521-5624