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The bill would amend the Penal Code to add abduction of a child younger than 18 to the circumstances which constitute aggravated kidnapping. It would also amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to add abduction of a child younger than 18 to the list of offenses -- with a statute of limitations of ten years from the 18th birthday of the victim.
Aggravated kidnapping, according to current statute, refers to a situation when the kidnapper "intentionally or knowingly abducts another person with the intent to ... hold him for ransom or reward; use him as a shield or hostage; facilitate the commission of a felony or the flight after the attempt or commission of a felony; inflict bodily injury on him or violate or abuse him sexually; terrorize him or a third person; or interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function."
When a basic kidnapping of a minor is elevated to an aggravated kidnapping by any of the above factors, there are consequences that must be considered, such as a higher penalty, denial of parole, etc. If the intent of this bill is to increase the penalty for basic kidnapping, then it should clearly state what the new consequences should be.
We are skeptical of the lengthy statute of limitations (up to the victim's 28th birthday). We also have concerns about what unintended consequences divorced or separated parents would encounter in the event of a miscommunication regarding child custody where one parent alleges a basic kidnapping has taken place. But because this bill neither affirms nor denies our liberty principles, we are neutral.