A state Senate committee has advanced two measures to get tough with sex offenders.
On an 8-7 party-line vote Monday, the Courts of Justice Committee endorsed a bill backed by Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell to impose a mandatory life prison term for anyone tried as an adult and convicted of raping a child under the age of 13. The current mandatory minimum is 25 years.
The panel also approved a measure that would put the names of juveniles convicted of rape, sodomy or object sexual penetration to a registry that would be available only to law-enforcement personnel. Sen. William Stanley said the change is necessary to avoid losing about $600,000 in federal grant funds.
Opponents said kids are less likely than adults to reoffend. The vote was 9-6.