ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida House unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that prohibits courts from granting bail for some convicted sexual offenders who are waiting for appeal.
- Bill stops convicted sex offenders from getting supersedeas bond
- Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood championed the bill
- FLORIDA GOVERNMENT GUIDE: Find Your State Lawmaker | How State Government Works
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood took to Twitter Wednesday to praise lawmakers for approving HB 333. The bill still needs to pass the Florida Senate, where it goes before the Rule Committee next week.
"To all who support this common sense legislation, THANK YOU for helping us correct one very fixable flaw in our system of justice in Florida," Chitwood tweeted.
Chitwood pushed for the bill after Mark Fugler, a Volusia County man, was granted a supersedeas bond following his conviction on charges of sexually assaulting a minor.
A supersedeas bond is one that's granted to convicts appealing their verdict, and allows them to put off serving their sentence while the appeals process goes through.
The bill passed Wednesday would prohibit judges from granting convicts bond if they were convicted on charges that require them to register with the state as a sexual offender or sexual predator, and if the victim was a minor.
Fugler's bond was revoked at an October hearing and he began serving his sentence. The victim's mother told the judge she ran into Fugler at a Publix a week before that hearing.
"This was traumatic for me as an adult, but as a child, what if my daughter was with me?" the victim's mother said at that October hearing. "How would she handle it and how would I handle it with her? How on Earth can this be within the law to let this happen?”