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Senate Bill Would Allow Recordings In Sex-Abuse Cases

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) - State law generally bars recording of conversations unless all parties agree, but a proposal filed on Tuesday by a senator would allow minors who are victims of sexual abuse to secretly record conversations with their abusers.

Sen. Wilton Simpson's bill, which will be considered during the 2015 legislative session, would carve out an exception in sexual abuse cases to allow minors to record conversations without their abusers' knowledge or consent.

The bill is similar to a proposal filed this month by Rep. Jared Moskowitz and comes after the Florida Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a man sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing his stepdaughter.

Justices ruled that recordings made by Richard R. McDade's stepdaughter should not have been allowed into his trial.

"Senate Bill 218 puts the law on the side of the innocent young people who are victims of horrible crimes,'' Simpson said in a prepared statement Tuesday. "The message to pedophiles is clear: You have no right to privacy. Your rights ceased to exist when you chose to destroy the life of a child through sexual abuse."

"The News Service of Florida contributed to this report."


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