WARNING: GRAPHIC REFERENCES TO SEX CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN
EXCLUSIVE: A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill Friday that would mandate an automatic death sentence for people convicted of certain child sex crimes.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, state Rep. Stefani Lord, who has advocated strengthening existing laws to protect children from sexual predators, said she was inspired to introduce HB 109 following the recent release of documents related to a lawsuit against the late Jeffrey Epstein’s former lover and accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell that included the names of many high-profile people.
“When I got elected, I was horrified that every time the legislature tried to pass a soft on crime bill, I would say, ‘Well, can we exempt pedophiles and rapists?’ And every time the Democrats said no,” Lord told Fox.
“I was horrified, so I went back and said, ‘You know what? There is no cure for pedophilia. There’s no cure for these rapists. So we might as well do like Florida did and give them the death penalty,'” she said, referencing Florida’s law implemented last year that expanded capital punishment to include people who sexually abuse children.
If passed, Lord’s bill would implement an automatic death sentence for people convicted of a first degree felony for aggravated criminal sexual penetration of a child and a first degree felony for criminal penetration of a child.
It would also require the death penalty for people convicted of a first degree felony for human sexual trafficking against a victim under 18 years of age.
Additionally, the bill would change the definition of “criminal sexual penetration of a child in the first degree” to apply to all children under the age of 18, instead of the current age of 13, and mandates that anyone who commits criminal sexual penetration of a child in the first degree is guilty of a first degree felony for criminal sexual penetration of a child, providing for the death penalty.
“There is no life. There’s no option for life in prison. You rape a child that is under 18, then you get the death penalty,” Lord said.
She explained that the changes to the law were especially important to New Mexicans because some of the most horrific allegations of sexual abuse against Epstein allegedly occurred on his ranch, known as the “Zorro Ranch,” which is located in a rural area south of Santa Fe and east of Albuquerque.
Lord also noted that the late-former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, was named in the final set of Epstein-related documents released earlier this week, which revealed the plaintiff in the lawsuit had accused the former governor, along with others, of sex trafficking her in a 2016 deposition.
“The consequences of that would be the death penalty,” she added.
When asked if the bill had enough support to pass through the Democrat-controlled state legislature, Lord said she hoped her Republican colleagues wouldn’t be “squeamish,” but that she doubted any Democrat would support it.
“I would gladly hand this bill over to a Democrat if they could get this passed. I have no problem with that. I don’t need to take credit for it. The issue is we need to stop the sex trafficking. We need to stop that. There’s so much leniency against pedophiles and people that rape children. This needs to stop,” she said.
“We have to draw the line. We have to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. If you do this, you’re going to get the death penalty,” she added.
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