Lawmakers quintuple size of Internet sex registry

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Vermont lawmakers passed a bill quintupling the size of the state’s Internet sex offender registry.

The action Saturday, which came as the Legislature prepared to adjourn for the year, moves Vermont closer but still not into full compliance with a 2006 federal law designed to make responses to sex crimes more uniform around the country.

Vermont currently has about 400 people on its Internet registry, with an "underlying" registry available to law enforcement and certain employers like schools. The bill aims to significantly broaden the range of sex crimes deemed serious enough to have the offender on the Internet.

The measure also would move most prosecution for teen "sexting" to juvenile court.

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