MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Right now, registered sex offenders are allowed to work and volunteer around kids, but a South Carolina bill introduced last week in the State House of Representatives could change that.
The bill says it would make it “unlawful for a sex offender to work or perform volunteer service with or around minor children under certain circumstances unless approved by a circuit court order that requires the offender’s employment or volunteer service be recorded in the offender’s sex offender registry file, to provide that court costs and filing fees must be paid by the offender, and to provide a penalty for a violation of this section.”
Five representatives have their names on the bill, including Horry County’s Alan Clemmons.
In October, WMBF News told the story of Janessa Bowles, who was molested by a man when she was five years old. Years later, she saw her abuser giving pony rides to kids in the Pee Dee. She was shocked.
“I was just like ‘Oh my God. He can do that?’ I was just so surprised,” Bowles said. “I had no words to explain what I was feeling.”
It’s a scenario she’d never want anyone to go through, which is why she’s happy to hear about the bill.
“I’m just so grateful that people are standing up with me,” she said.
The bill was introduced on the first day of session this year. It was referred to the Committee on Judiciary.