Christopher's Law marks 10th anniversary
Ontario Provincial Police marked a sombre anniversary on Wednesday — the introduction of Christopher's Law — the establishment of the province's Sex Offenders Registry.
In 1988, 11-year-old Christopher Stephenson was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered.
His killer was a convicted pedophile who was out of prison on federal statutory release.
The inquest into the child's death recommended the establishment of a register for convicted sex offenders, which required that they register with the police.
But the impetus to making that recommendation a reality was Christopher's parents, who were recognized by the OPP for their tireless efforts to see the legislation passed, which happened on April 23, 2001.
On Wednesday, at the OPP headquarters in Orillia, Jim Stephenson, Christopher's father, said the legislation demonstrates a "commitment to public safety."
Ontario remains the only province to have a Sex Offenders Registry.
Staff-Sgt. Adam Alderson says there are now 14,000 convicted sex offenders in the data base.
"If we have to track an offender down immediately in real time during, for instance an abduction of a child. we know where to start looking," he said.
The Stephenson's say at first they found it hard to attach their son's name to a sex offender registry but now they see it as a lasting legacy to Christopher, so other children can be safe.