House Bill 1520 doesn’t sound unique until you know the story behind it. It’s being called, Natalee’s Law. As Malique Rankin reports, Natalee’s parents are now fighting for victims’ rights and bringing awareness to a difficult topic.
Heartbroken victims and their families explained how the juvenile criminal justice failed them.
In September of last year, 4-year-old Natalee Strubbe was repeatedly raped by a 13-year-old boy.
Rosa Strubbe: “Natalee told him no, multiple times, but to no avail.”
Which is why today, Rosa Strubbe is asking for lawmakers’ help.
Rosa Strubbe: “And when you feel like you failed to even get justice for them, you don’t know what to do with yourself. and that’s why I’m here. “
Currently, juvenile records are difficult or impossible to access under state law. Victims and their families often have no access to a court or investigative records surrounding the case.
Rosa wants that to change so she can better understand what her child is going through–which will help her heal.
Rosa Strubbe: “We didn’t know how to talk to her, how to act around her, we didn’t know what triggers could be there once she was diagnosed with PTSD.”
Giving parents a glimpse into the details of their child’s case isn’t all this legislation does. The bill would require guilty juvenile offenders in GSI cases to be placed in a juvenile facility for 21 days and undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation.
Rosa Strubbe tells us she never expected to be here, reliving a parent’s worst nightmare. But for change to happen, she felt it was necessary.
Rosa Strubbe: “Because they need to put a face to why all these parents are here today sharing their story. Unfortunately, Natalee is going to be that face. She will tell you, if you talk to her, she’ll say, ‘I’m a world changer.’ Because she is, she’s a world changer.”
Lawmakers of the judiciary committee say they’re now trying to learn about the juvenile justice system, which is difficult to do because so much of it is confidential. As for the boy the boy that raped Natalee, he was sentenced to a year of supervised probation and therapy.
The committee gave the bill a “DO PASS” recommendation.