New Kentucky laws go into effect Tuesday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New Kentucky laws go into effect Tuesday

New laws aimed at protecting Kentucky children will go into effect Tuesday.  Slapping felony charges on authority figures who engage in sexual misconduct with a minor.

"Authorities" include teachers, priests, and coaches.  The new law also closes a loophole set by teachers, who say no laws were broken if they engaged in acts with "willing" students who were 16 or older.

The statute of limitations will also be increased for misdemeanor sex crimes.  Minors now have until the age of 23 to report such incidents whereas before, they had only one year.

The legal definition of harassment also changes in  a bullying law.  Harassment now includes behavior that causes physical harm, intimidation, or humiliation.  Bullying can now be a criminal offense.

Children are also required to ride in car seats until they turn seven years old or are at least 50 inches tall.  Parents will receive courtesy warnings until July 2009 and then will receive fines up to $30.

Operators of theme park rides are also now required to be 18 years old.  This comes after an accident at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom severed the feet of 14-year old Kaitlyn Lasitter.

The operator of the Superman Tower of Power was only two years older than Lasitter.  Kentucky is now the 11th state to have the age requirement.  16 states require operators to be 16.  The other states have no age requirement.

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