Certain convicted sex offenders would be barred from contact with children under 14 without express, written consent from the child's parent or guardian under provisions outlined in HB161.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Richard Greenwood, R-Roy, establishes a criminal penalty for contact with a child under 14 initiated by a person who is both on the sex offender registry and whose crime involved a child under 14 years of age.

Sgt. Greg Peterson from the Sanpete County Sheriff's office cited several situations where deputies were unable to pursue charges in circumstances that involved convicted sex offenders contacting children. Peterson said HB161 goes a long way toward allaying fears that parents have about sexual predators targeting their children.

The House Judiciary and Law Enforcement Committee passed HB161.