Bill Introduced Following Reports of Babysitter Who Allegedly Used Care.com to Find & Sexually Assault Child
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) has introduced legislation that would establish mandatory prison terms for child molesters who use their position as a child care provider to gain access to victims. This would include people posing as caregivers on websites such as Care.com, or at any other child care center or provider referral service.
Sen. Kip Bateman has introduced a bill to establish mandatory prison terms for perpetrators who target and sexually assault children, by posing as caregivers on websites like Care.com or at any other child care center or referral service. (Flickr)
“The booming popularity of babysitter-for-hire websites poses a new threat to families everywhere, especially for working parents who are coping with the high cost of daycare in New Jersey,” Senator Bateman said. “Anyone who uses a referral service to try and prove their legitimacy as a caregiver is operating on another level than average ‘opportunity’ molesters. That motivation and the equally monstrous crime that follows should absolutely land you in jail.”
Bateman authored the bill (S-3500) following reports that an Elizabeth man posing as a caregiver on Care.com had been charged with sexually assaulting the young girl he had been hired through the website to babysit. Last week, a Burlington County man was charged with sexually assaulting two children at a daycare facility he owned. Perpetrators in these types of cases would face harsher justice if Senator Bateman’s new bill is signed into law.
Under current law, child molesters who have supervisory or disciplinary power over their victim through their legal, professional or occupational status, such as teachers, face tougher penalties for sexual assault.
Senator Bateman’s S-3500 would update this existing statute to include people who are employed by or registered with a “care provider service,” including online referral services such as Care.com, so that these defendants would now also face more serious penalties for sexually assaulting a child.
Additionally, Senator Bateman’s bill would set a mandatory prison term for defendants who are found guilty under those newly-covered circumstances established by the bill. The minimum term of imprisonment would be five years, during which time the defendant would not be eligible for parole.
“A child molester posing as a responsible caregiver is every parent’s worst nightmare,” Senator Bateman added. “Online sexual predators are getting smarter all the time and the law has to catch up. People in power who use their position to find and sexually assault children should face prison time. No exceptions.”
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