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Jul 15, 2010 2:49 PM by Veronica White

Cracking Down on Child Sex Crimes

The St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Department supports 5 bills Governor Bobby Jindal signed last week, cracking down on sexual offenders that prey on children. The goal is to better track and punish offenders.

The legislative package includes increased sentences for habitual offenders, better ways to get electronic information, and stronger penalties for initiating crimes online.

The St. Martin Parish investigators are stepping up by training all week in forensic interviewing of children.

"I think it will help hold people accountable who perpetrate these acts and exonerate people," says trainer Julia Barker.

The trainees learn to use child-friendly settings and make the child comfortable while talking. They say this ultimately leads to more accurate information, as children think, talk and express themselves differently than adults.

Lieutenant and mother Dina Theriot says training helps her in both of her jobs.

"I'm more aware of the surroundings involving my child and I'm also more cautious and observant about situations my child is involved in," she says.

Governor Jindal also signed 4 additional bills not in the legislative package that also strengthen sex offender laws. See all of them here: http://www.katc.com/news/crack-down-on-sexual-predators/

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