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Stricter rules to label sex "predators"

Reported by: Jamie Smith
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Updated: 9/23/2013 8:57 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Despite convictions for various sexual offenses and an the attempted kidnapping of a young girl, Donald Smith, the man charged with the murder of Cherish Perrywinkle, was not labeled a "sexually violent predator" by the state.

Instead of remaining committed to an institution, Smith was free when the child was killed this summer and he now stands accused of kidnapping and murdering little Cherish Perrywinkle.

Rayne Perrywinkle, mother of the 8-year-old victim, has been demanding action since hearing who allegedly killed her daughter.

Florida Department of Children and Families workers make recommendations to prosecutors of who gets labeled a "predator" and who gets committed by the state.

A new DCF report admits that Smith is one of 1,300 out of more than 30,000 sexual offenders not labeled as a predators, but were eventually charged with another sex crime.

So DCF's labeling system will now be stricter, including overhauling the evaluation process, ordering face-to-face meetings with subjects whenever a case is in doubt, and any "attempted" kidnapping or murder case will now be sent for immediate evaluation by case workers.

Changes ordered by DCF's interim secretary take effect immediately.
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