AG Bondi Backing Bill Allowing Young Victims To Secretly Record Sex Abusers

Jan 30, 2015

Attorney General Pam Bondi speaking to reporters Wednesday about her backing of a bill allowing certain young sex abuse victims privately record their attackers.
Credit Florida Channel

Attorney General Pam Bondi says she’s on board with a bill making it easier for sexual abuse victims under the age of 17 to privately record their attacker so it can hold up in a Florida court.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to get that through because that’s very, very important. But, just know, that it’s a very narrow, narrow field, and only has to do with children and rape victims—not just at the hands of their parents, but any pedophile,” said Bondi, during a recent Associated Press gathering in Tallahassee.

Bondi says her interest in this stems from a recent Supreme Court ruling that gained some attention.

“Of course, we know you can’t record someone without their permission in the state of Florida,” she added. “This case, however, involved a 12-year-old girl, and she was being raped continuously by her mother’s boyfriend. Of course, she doesn’t think Mom is going to believe her. She’s 12, she’s 12! So, she taped it. She taped his confession, she taped his threats…it was used at trial and it was thrown out because it was unlawful.”

And, she says it will be one of her priorities to make it so victims, like the girl, have a voice.

“So, we want to create this session, a very narrow exception, because now kids have smartphones,” she concluded. “You know, back then, they didn’t have the ability to do that to be able to catch their accuser on their own.”

The bipartisan bill was filed by Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Coral Springs) as well as Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Fort Myers) and Sen. Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby). It’s also a priority for Lauren Book, a sex abuse survivor, who has helped pass similar legislation to help victims.

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