Legislation creating lifetime orders of protection for victims of violent crimes passed both chambers unanimously and now heads to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk for his signature. House Bill 434 creates a lifetime order of protection to strictly prohibit communication between an offender and their victim.
Republican Leaders partnered with Nikki Goeser, a victim of stalking, to create this legislation. She was present in the House chamber for the unanimous vote on Monday. Goeser’s stalker shot and killed her husband, Ben, in front of her in a crowded restaurant in 2009. Her stalker has been behind bars serving time for second-degree murder, but has continued to try to contact Goeser, sending her letters from prison.
Offenders that violate the order could receive up to a Class A misdemeanor, ensuring that these penalties will tack significant time onto ongoing sentences. The legislation is retroactive, so persons who have previously been victimized can receive lifelong orders of protection. This bill also permits service of ex parte orders of protection for up to one year from issuance.