Russian legislators have advanced a bill that would tighten the laws related to sexual crimes against minors. Repeat offenders will now be facing a lifetime behind bars.
The legislation, which proposes to ramp up the criminal liability of those convicted of pedophilia, was adopted in the first reading by Russia’s State Duma on Tuesday. It introduces heavier penalties, including life sentences for repeat offenders, who had been previously convicted for sexually assaulting minors.
Duma chairman Vyacheslav Volodin hailed the bill's progress and argued that life imprisonment was the only right way to deal with those preying on minors.
“A life sentence is a just measure to isolate the degenerates. They cannot be called humans, although they are in human form. We hope that this measure will protect children, families, and society as a whole from those who cause irreparable harm,” Volodin said in a Telegram post.
Under current Russian laws, repeat offenders who targeted minors below 14 years of age are eligible for prison terms ranging from 15 years behind bars to life behind bars. The revised legislation expands the liability to all the repeat offenders who targeted any minors younger than 18.
Life sentence is also introduced for serial pedophiles found guilty of raping or sexually assaulting two or more minors, as well as for cases aggravated by other serious crimes – such as murder or grievous bodily harm.
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