Prosecutors push for longer minimum sentence for sex abuse

    Prosecutors are pushing to restore Montana's mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison for convictions of certain sexual crimes against children.

    The Billings Gazette reports state lawmakers are considering the measure pushed by the Montana County Attorneys Association that would set the higher minimum in sex abuse cases against victims, age 12 or younger.

    The state Legislature in 2017 reduced the minimum to 10 years as part of a larger sentencing reform bill.

    Dan Guzynski, prosecution services bureau chief for the state attorney general's office, says the measure would keep in place the current law's five possible exceptions to the mandatory minimum.

    The Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence has opposed the measure, arguing the mandatory minimum can be barrier to reporting crimes.

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