New bill would allow secret recordings of sex abusers in court

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Florida lawmakers are trying to make it easier for sexual assault victims to get evidence against their attackers.

It all stems from the case of a Lee County man named Richard McDade.

Last year, the state’s Supreme Court ordered a new trial after deciding that secret recordings McDade’s 16-year-old victim made, should not have been used in court.

“The recordings were ambiguous. Things like ‘well we wouldn’t be having these problems if you’d do what I want you to do,'” said McDade’s attorney Christopher Cosden.

McDade was convicted of raping a 10-year-old girl until she was 16 years old. He was sentenced to serve three life terms in prison. Now, the Florida Supreme Court granted McDade a new trial.

In most cases, it’s against the law to record conversations in Florida without consent from the other party.

A new bill would allow those secret recordings to be used as evidence in the courtroom of a sexual abuse case if it involves a child 16 years old or younger.

“I think that we should give the victims of sexual violence every possible tool to be able to fight against their attackers,” said Florida Representative Matt Gaetz.

Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto is also proposing a similar bill.

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