Sex offenders who remain in state custody after finishing prison terms could face more prison time if they throw the wrong stuff at the wrong people. Sex offenders considered a sexually violent predators can be left in the custody of the mental health department indefinitely after they finish their prison time. A special Sexual Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Unit houses them in Farmington.
The Senate has approved a proposal putting those people back in prison if they throw bodily fluids or feces at Mental Health Department workers. Sponsor Jim Lembke of St. Louis wants those actions declared felonies. He calls his bill an “opportunity” to get sex offenders back to prison if they misbehave. He draws support from Farmington Senator Kevin Engler, who says predators don’t want to go back to prison because pedophiles don’t do well there. But he says the bill is necessary to protect people in his town who work at the special unit.
Lembke’s bill upgrades the charge to a more serious felony if the bodily fluids are from a person with HIV, Hepatitis B or C, and exposes the victim to those diseases. Corrections department workers, visitors, and other convicts are protected from similar assaults in a law passed earlier.
This bill (SB774) is awaiting action in the House.