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State Congress approves reforms to child sexual abuse laws

Chetumal, Q.R. — Quintana Roo Congress has approved a reform of the state Penal Code to increase sentencing for sexual abuse and include pedophilia as a punishable crime. The initiative was presented by Cancun Mayor Ana Paty Peralta and endorsed by unanimous vote Monday.

The reform will toughen penalties for the crime of sexual abuse, increasing the years of prison depending on the crime. Penalties for sexual abuse will now see those convicted serve between eight and 12 years, up from six to 10 years, while pedophilia is now a punishable crime that comes with a prison sentence of between nine and 18 years.

The longer of the sentences can be requested if there is a relationship between the aggressor and his victim and / or if the crime included violence among other factors.

If the aggressor is a public servant or a professional in the exercise of his duties, he or she will be disqualified, dismissed or suspended from employment during the time that the sanction is imposed in accordance with the opinion published in the Parliamentary Gazette of the Legislative Power.

Deputy Hugo Alday, President of the Justice Commission of the Quintana Roo Congress and promoter of the initiative, celebrated its approval and said that the objective is to reduce impunity since perpetrators often abuse their position of trust and authority.

He says they are hoping to strengthen legislation related to child sexual abuse, increase penalties and streamline judicial processes to ensure perpetrators face consequences proportional to the seriousness of their actions.