- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad on Monday pledged to reduce domestic violence in Iowa through legislation that would toughen penalties and oversight for domestic violence offenses.

Branstad’s proposal, which he initially touted in his “Condition of the State” address, would increase prison time for people repeatedly convicted of domestic abuse assault. It would also allow the use of electronic monitoring in some cases.

The bill has been drafted and will now be reviewed by lawmakers in the Legislature. Branstad said he hopes the bill will “end domestic violence in our state.”

“The crime of domestic violence is one of horrifying brutality. Often the victims live in a state of constant fear,” Branstad said. “The bill I am proposing insures that repeat offenders are treated as a more serious threat to both victims and the public.”

Under the legislation, a person convicted of a third domestic abuse assault would receive a mandatory sentence of three years in prison - up from one. Also, high-risk offenders could be monitored by GPS.

Sheila Lynch said that tougher laws would have helped protect her daughter, TereseAnn Lynch Moore, whose was killed in 2009. Her estranged husband, Randall Moore, was convicted of murder, kidnapping and sexual abuse in her death and was sentenced to three life sentences. At the time TereseAnn Lynch Moore was killed, she had a protective order against her husband.

Authorities say Randall Moore kidnapped his wife at a shopping mall and took her to their apartment where he shot her. Lynch said she had been pushing for GPS monitoring since Moore’s trial. His prior convictions would have deemed him high-risk under Branstad’s proposal, according to a spokesman for the governor.

“This bill takes the electronic monitoring I was pushing for and goes much farther than that. It makes a protective order more than a piece of paper. It puts behind that protective order, respect for the victim,” Lynch said. “This bill to me represents respect and honor for my daughter.”

Rep. Chip Baltimore, R-Boone, who chairs the House Judiciary committee, said he had not yet seen the bill, though he said he is supportive of ways to prevent domestic violence.

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