BATON ROUGE, La. — The most serious sex crimes should be punishable by castration, with drugs or surgery, the Louisiana Senate voted on Tuesday.
The bill by Sen. Nick Gautreaux, D-Meaux, would give judges the option of imposing chemical castration on those convicted of sex crimes including aggravated rape, simple rape and indecent behavior with a juvenile. Chemical castration would be mandatory on second offenses, and the offender would have the option of choosing physical castration instead.
Senators voted 32-3 to send the measure to the House.
Chemical castration would involve treatment with the drug medroxyprogesterone acetate, with the aim of diminishing the offender's sexual impulses. Gautreaux amended the bill to add a provision that would bar such an offender from taking another substance — such as estrogen — that could counteract the effects of the castration drug.
The drug treatment would be mandatory on a second offense, though a medical expert would have to determine that the treatment would be effective.
Once ordered to undergo the treatment, the offender would have the option of physical castration — which Gautreaux said some offenders might prefer to avoid any drug side effects or in hopes of permanently curbing impulses that led to his offense.
Voting against the measure were Sens. Cheryl Gray, D-New Orleans, Robert Kostelka, R-West Monroe, and Derrick Shepherd, D-Marrero.
Also awaiting House debate is another Gautreaux bill that would prohibit sex offenders from wearing masks or costumes on most major holidays, and prohibit them from giving candy or other gifts to people younger than 18. The bill (Senate Bill 143) by Sen. Nick Gautreaux, D-Meaux, now goes to the House for debate. Violators could be jailed for a minimum of six months and a maximum of three years.