Bills seek to beef up public safety by fixing legal loopholes

“I pray no one would ever have to experience what I have. I hope that no one will have to live their lives feeling unsafe knowing that their perpetrator is able to roam freely,” sex assault survivor Hannah L. Rebadulla said in a written testimony in support of Bill 157-35.

Introduced by Sen. Amanda Shelton, Bill 157-35 seeks to close the loophole in sex offender registry law by requiring sex offenders appealing their convictions still register as sex offenders.

“I do not want the members of our community to live in area where have no knowledge of convicted sex offenders living near them – just because they were waiting for an appeal and exempted from registering. Guilty is guilty,” Rebadulla said.

Rose Hermosa, another sex assault survivor, said closing the loophole would reduce the likelihood of a sex offender victimizing other women. “My story is just a minute part of this community. For those victims who turn survivor and now advocate, I say let’s go close that loophole with Bill 157,” Hermosa said.

“The Guam Sex Offender Registry is vital to protect existing victims, to deter recidivism among offenders, and to prevent future sexual offenses. A study published in the Journal of Law and Economics finds sex offender registration reduces the overall number of sex offenses by about 13 percent,” Shelton said. “It gives our people greater access information of convicted sex offenders in their area so