Suzette Porter of Saint Petersblog Friday commented on Governor Rick Scott’s signing of HB 7001, making children’s secret recordings of their abusers now admissible in court. The bill came in response to the Florida Supreme Court’s December 2014 ruling in McDade v. State of Florida that such recordings were not admissible due to lack of consent. A subsequent retrial of McDade resulted in his acquittal. McDade was originally sentenced to life in prison prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Said Porter, “Like most parents, when I hear the tinkling music of an ice cream truck, I know what my future holds: rummaging in my pocket for some singles and spare change, a little begging and pleading from my baby girl, followed by big smiles, sticky hands and promises that we won’t tell mom we ate ice cream an hour before dinner. (I’m told by Lauren Book this is a “safe secret.”)
But this session was a painful reminder to Michelle and I that times certainly have changed. That danger may be lurking around any corner, or driving down any street. The simple summer-time innocence of an ice cream truck is no longer promised.
Yesterday, ice cream truck driver and Lee County resident Richard McDade was acquitted of child molestation charges and is now walking free.”
Quoting founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids, Lauren Book, Porter continued, “‘It takes tremendous courage for a child to step forward and great resourcefulness to capture a conversation that proves his or her story,” says Book. “Because many young victims feel isolated and alone, and are afraid of not being believed, this step forward is critical for Florida’s children to be both heard and helped. It gives young people the power to seek justice, and to be the hero in their own story, even when others turn a blind eye.
‘Without this critical piece of evidence to corroborate children’s allegations, too many predators walk free. Let’s not forget: The only difference between McDade serving a life sentence in prison and a lifetime ability to victimize children was one audio file.'”
Porter finished, “Book went on to praise Governor Scott and the members of the Florida Legislature for helping child sexual abuse victims bring their abusers to justice and for giving children a voice in a statement released shortly after HB 7001 was signed into law.
As a parent, I share her thanks.”
The full post can be found on the Saint Petersblog website.