In over 90% of child sexual abuse cases, the abuser is someone the child knows and trusts. Too often, the offenders are known to be molesters but the information is kept secret. In 1994, two children, Megan in New Jersey and Candace in California, were sexually abused by known molesters. Megan died at the hands of the convicted sexual pervert that molested her. Thankfully, Candace did not.
Local law enforcement knew where the sex offender, who would snuff out seven-year-old Megan Kanka’s life, was located, but no one told her parents that he was living across the street from them.
1994 – Megan’s Law approved
Approximately one month after Megan’s rape and murder on July 29th by Jesse Timmendequas, and primarily due to the Kanka’s public outcry, the New Jersey legislature passed Megan’s Law requiring registration and public notification of sex offenders. Since 1996, Megan’s Law has become federal law and all states have passed some form of it. Have these laws helped to prevent child molestation?
One federally funded study in 2009 determined that Megan’s law had no effect on sexual reoffenses. When informed of the study, Mrs. Kanka remarked that the purpose of the law was for parents to know where the offenders were living. “We never said it was going to stop them from reoffending.”
Jake Goldenflame, a convicted sex offender, supports the law. “Megan’s Law is not there to keep me from re-offending,” he said. “Megan’s Law is there so that you can keep me from re-offending by knowing who I am, keeping your eyes on me.”