Oregon Republicans push for crackdown on sex offenders
SALEM, Ore. (KPTV)- Some lawmakers in Salem are vowing to make changes in the way sex offenders are paroled after serving their time in prison.
They joined victims of Richard Gillmore, Portland’s “jogger rapist,” to introduce a bill that mandate notifications in some cases if a violent sex offender moved into a neighborhood.
Senate Bill 1022 aims to reform how sex offenders are classified in Oregon after their release from prison. These efforts come after victims of Gillmore were outraged after his release back in release back in December.
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Gillmore spent 36 years behind bars after he was convicted in 1987 of raping Tiffany Edens. Gillmore admitted to raping at least 8 other girls and women in the Portland area, but didn’t face charges because of the statute of limitations. When he was released in December, he was only classified as a low level sex offender, meaning officials are not required to let neighbors know if Gilmore is living near them. The only victim of Gillmore’s he faced charges for, Tiffany Edens, was joined by Danielle Tudor, another victim of Gillmore’s, in a push for changes Tuesday with state lawmakers.
“The parole board and the system is taking a major risk and I’m telling you, he will kill the next victim,” said Edens.
A key part of a new bill would require the state parole board to take more details into account of a convicted sex offender’s history. This includes crimes they admitted to committing that they were not prosecuted for. Gillmore’s victims say a tougher law would have classified Gilmore as a more serious sex offender, meaning officials would have been required to notify more people if he was in the area.
“All I am asking for in this bill is that there is some cohesiveness to who is a victim when it concerns the parole board, all the way through their risk level assessment for sex offenders,” said Tudor.
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The bill would also give victims the opportunity to appeal what level sex offender is classified as after they get out of prison. For Gilmore’s victims, having their voices heard in this process would give them better piece of mind.
“The parole board needs to be doing that, because they’re dealing with people who are very dangerous and can cause harm,” said Edens.
It is unclear at this time if the bill has support from Senate Democrats, but Republican lawmakers hope the bill will get a hearing in the near future.
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