Sen. Betsy Close
Bi-partisan legislation enabled local prosecutor to increase charges on accused sex offender
Albany, OR – Last year, Senator Close Betsy Close (R-Albany/Corvallis) reached across the aisle to work with Democrat Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) on stronger penalties for sex trafficking crimes involving children. The legislation was adopted and signed into law, and last Friday an Albany man was charged under these new statutes.
“I commend Linn County District Attorney Doug Marteeny for using this tool to keep Albany families safe,” said Close. “No child should have to suffer through the horrors of a sex crime. I believe this new law will safeguard our homes and children by taking predators off the street and putting them behind bars where they belong.”
Senate Bill 673 was introduced by Close and Johnson in the 2013 legislative session. When signed into law by the Governor last year, the bill increased the sentences for pimps and solicitors of the sex trade, particularly targeting instances where minors are victims.
On Friday in Linn County Circuit Court, a man was charged with three counts of purchasing sex with a minor, three counts of third-degree sex abuse and attempt to commit first-degree sodomy. At the time of the crime, the victim in the case was under the age of 16.
“Sexual abuse and the sex trade are unacceptable tragedies that rob the most vulnerable of their innocence, and they erode the well-being of our communities,” said Close. “I introduced this legislation because I am convinced Oregon must do more to stop sexual exploitation, especially of children.”
Starting in 1999, Close served for six years as a State Representative in the Oregon House of Representatives. She was Chairwoman of the House Water & Environment Committee and House Business, Labor, and Consumer Affairs; and Co-Chair of the Joint Natural Resources Committee. She served in leadership as Assistant Majority Leader from 2001 to 2005. She was appointed to the Oregon State Senate in 2012.
Betsy Close has been married to Christopher Close for 40 years. The couple have four grown children.