CEDAR RAPIDS — Citing the 34-year-old disappearance of Des Moines newspaper delivery boy Johnny Gosch and the 2005 kidnapping, rape and murder of 10-year-old Jetseta Gage of Cedar Rapids, Sen. Chuck Grassley said U.S. Senate action this week will help protect children from sexual predators.
“Too many kids fall prey to sexual predators,” Grassley said Wednesday.
“The names Johnny Gosch, Eugene Martin and Jetseta Gage, for example, still bring heartbreak to all Iowans,” he said, noting that Gosch and Martin, who disappeared in 1982 and 1984, respectively, have never been found. Gage, was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender.
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act Reauthorization passed the Senate by a vote of 89-0. Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee where the legislation originated, said it will “help prevent future tragedies and ensure that victims have a good shot at justice.”
It was offered in response “to these notorious cases involving children who had been targeted by adult criminals, many of them repeat sex offenders.”
In addition to providing assistance to state and local law enforcement, Grassley said the reauthorization added a survivors’ bill of rights “to codify additional rights and assure survivors their tragedy will not be shoved aside.”
Also Wednesday, Grassley said he was encouraged by presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s making public a list of potential Supreme Court nominees.
“He hasn’t expressed a lot of opinion on policy when he was getting the nomination, (so) it’s very essential to express in a whole lot of areas the basic policy he intends to run on and serve on,” Grassley said. “It’s important for Trump as a candidate to continue to express policy decisions that he might follow as a president.”
It also put the onus on presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to release a list “so the American people know the direction of the court she wants.”
“The more transparency, the better off it is,” Grassley said.