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News 07 Feb 18

Romanian MPs to Debate Chemical Castration Legislation

The Romanian parliament is set to debate a new bill on ‘chemical castration’ for sex offenders after a police officer was prosecuted for several assaults on minors. 

Ana Maria Luca
BIRN
Bucharest
Romania lawmaker Catalin Radulescu. Photo: Octav Ganea/Inquam Photos.

The Romanian parliament is set to debate a bill on ‘chemical castration’ for sex offenders again, after a police officer was prosecuted for several assaults on minors. 

Romania’s parliament is to again debate ‘chemical castration’ as an optional sentence for sex offenders after a police officer was caught on camera assaulting two children in January.

According to the bill submitted by Social Democrat MP Catalin Radulescu, people convicted of assaulting minors could opt to take drugs designed to reduce a male offender’s testosterone and sexual libido in exchange for a reduced sentence.

The parliament rejected a previous bill on so-called chemical castration in 2015, also submitted by Radulescu.

The bill passed the Senate without being debated, but it was rejected by a large majority in the lower chamber.

Radulescu said on Monday that his bill was intended to prevent sex crimes against children, and that the drugs would only be given with the consent of the offender.

“Three years ago, we filed a bill on chemical castration of paedophiles, a measure that almost all European countries and the United States use, even in Moldova, and which, through the treatment applied to paedophiles, would have eliminated the psychopath tendencies of these paedophiles and would have protected our children,” Radulescu wrote on Facebook.

“But unfortunately, my initiative received a negative opinion from the Justice Minister at that time,” he added.

In January, Romania’s police and government were shaken by a paedophilia scandal.

A police officer from the traffic brigade was caught on camera while sexually assaulting two children in an elevator in Bucharest and investigators revealed that some of his colleagues had allegedly covered up his involvement in several previous sexual assault cases.

The chief of police was fired after the scandal.

Radulescu became well-known after he was prosecuted in 2017 for illegal possession of a weapon, after confessing during an interview that he owns an AK-47 he kept from the 1989 anti-Communist rebellion.

He was also indicted for corruption by anti-graft prosecutors for allegedly bribing a project manager in 2014. He was convicted on both occasions, and got an 18-month suspended jail sentence in the bribery case.

Yet another bill on chemical castration was discussed by Romanian lawmakers in 2014.

A group of 25 Social Democrat MPs, including Radulescu, proposed the legislation, but it was rejected over claims that it violated human rights.  

In Europe, chemical castration has been used in Britain, Germany, Poland, Moldova and Estonia. The Czech Republic also allows surgical castration of some sex offenders.

Macedonia was the first Balkan country in 2014 to adopt legislation imposing chemical castration on repeat offenders convicted of sexually abusing children.

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