Louisiana Governor Signs Bill Authorizing Surgical Castration for Child Sex Offenders

Aldgra Fredly
By Aldgra Fredly
June 23, 2024US News
Louisiana Governor Signs Bill Authorizing Surgical Castration for Child Sex Offenders
Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry speaks during a press conference at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, La., on June 18, 2024. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP)

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry has signed into law a bill that would allow state judges to sentence those convicted of sex crimes against victims under the age of 13 to undergo surgical castration.

Senate Bill 371, sponsored by state Sen. Regina Ashford Barrow, is expected to take effect on Aug. 1 following the Republican governor’s signature on June 18.

The law allows Louisiana judges to punish offenders aged 17 and older with surgical castration if they are convicted of aggravated sex crimes against a victim under the age of 13.

The Department of Public Safety and Corrections will oversee the procedure, but it will not be performed if “not medically appropriate,” according to the bill.

Under the law, a court-appointed medical expert will need to determine whether the offender is “an appropriate candidate” for surgical castration within 60 days from the imposition of sentence.

“In all cases involving an offender sentenced to a period of incarceration or confinement in institution, the procedure shall be performed not later than one week prior to the offender’s release from the institution,” the legislation reads.

If an offender “fails to appear” as required by court order for surgical castration, the offender may be charged and sentenced to three to five years in prison without the “benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence,” according to the new law.

The bill garnered bipartisan support in the state legislature. During a committee hearing in April, Republican state Sen. Valarie Hodges described the measure as “a consequence” for offenders guilty of committing sex crimes against children.

“It’s a step over and beyond just going to jail and getting out,” Ms. Hodges said, according to The Associated Press.

The legislation, proposed by Ms. Barrow, expands on a previous act by authorizing a judge to order a physical castration to those convicted of a sex offense in which the victim was 13 or under.

“We are talking about babies who are being violated by somebody,” the Democratic senator said at the committee meeting in April. “That is inexcusable.”

According to state law, voluntary castration for people convicted of rape dates back to 2008, when the Legislature passed legislation that sentenced a sex offender “to be treated with medroxyprogesterone acetate, or MPA.”

“However, in lieu of treatment with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), the court may order the defendant to undergo physical castration provided the defendant file a written motion with the court stating that he intelligently and knowingly, gives his voluntary consent to physical castration as an alternative to the treatment,” the act states.

Matt McGregor contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times