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Senate Passes Tougher Sexual Predator Bills

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File photo of a prison cell. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a prison cell. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Senate passed a package of bills designed to strengthen sexual predator laws on the first day of its annual session.

The four bills passed unanimously Tuesday. They’re designed to tighten loopholes in a law that allows the state to civilly commit the most dangerous sexual offenders once they’ve finished their prison terms.

More offenders could be reviewed if the measures become laws, including people serving jail sentences for sex crimes. Right now, only people convicted of felonies can be reviewed for commitment.

Prosecutors and victim advocates would also be part of the review process.

Another bill will also create a 50-year mandatory sentence for people who rape children, the developmentally disabled and the elderly. The mandatory minimum for raping children is now 25 years.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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