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Tuesday 25.10.2016 | Name days: Beāte, Beatrise

Failure to report sex crimes to be criminalized in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUA group of experts led by Latvian Justice Ministry has agreed that it is necessary to criminally prosecute individuals who do not report sex crimes. Experts also decided it is necessary to increase the severity of punishments for different types of sex crimes.

The prison sentence for sexual abuse of minors will be increased from three to five years. For incitement to engage in sexual activities the sentence will be increased from one to four years in prison, as was decided during a joint meeting of different high-rank officials who discussed possible amendments to criminal legislation in regard to sexual crimes.

Classification for the aforementioned crimes will also be changed to serious. With that classification also come all regulations that apply to serious crimes: longer limitation period and criminal liability for not reporting crimes.

The group of experts also supported the initiative to increase the severity of punishment for incitement to engage in sexual activities involving minors. Sections of the Criminal Law will be added with specific classification notes – if sexual actions are performed with a minor, this crime carries a sentence of seven years in prison. Incitement to engage in sexual activities will carry a prison sentence of up to five years.

Experts also agreed on a compromise that states how limitation period for sexual crimes against minors will be calculated from the moment the victim reaches 18 years.

At the moment, Section 315 of the Criminal Law provides prison sentence of up to two years, community service or fine for not reporting the crime. The expert group also decided it is necessary to have the State Probation Service provide regular reports about individuals who had once committed a sexual crime.

As noted by Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnacs, the adoption of new regulations in the Criminal Law will depend on its progress in the Saeima. The minister’s most optimistic prediction is that new regulations could come into force 1January, 2016.


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