Assembly committee unanimously approves "Isabella's Law"

RACINE (WITI) -- On Thursday, May 23rd, the state Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice unanimously voted to support Assembly Bill 190, known as "Isabella's Law."

This legislation is in direct response to a situation that occurred in Racine earlier this year when a Racine man, arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an eight-year-old Racine girl named Isabella, was released on bail to his home – next door to his alleged victim.  The bill is named “Isabella’s Law” in honor of this child.

The law would prohibit alleged perpetrators of child sexual assault released on bail from living near the victim.

“Isabella’s Law" was authored by State Representatives Thomas Weatherston (R-Caledonia) and Cory Mason (D-Racine).

“Our current system failed Isabella and her family,” said Representative Mason. “This bipartisan, common-sense legislation would prevent this terrible incident from happening to any other child, and I’m grateful for the Committee’s unanimous support today.”

The Committee voted on the bill after holding a public hearing on the legislation. Representatives Mason and Weatherston, as well as Isabella’s family, spoke in support of the bill at that hearing.

“This bill is not an additional punishment; it provides protection to children who are victims of sexual assault,” said Representative Weatherston. “I want to thank Isabella’s family for coming to testify and helping stop this situation from occurring again.”

The bill now heads to the full Assembly.

“We unfortunately cannot fix what happened to Isabella,” said Representative Mason. “But this legislation will ensure that other families will be spared from experiencing that same stress and fear.”

According to the criminal complaint against 60-year-old Robert Lambkin, the girl was in an alley between the two homes near Flett and Washington Ave. when Lambkin unzipped her jacket and inappropriately touched her on the chest. Lambkin later admitted to police he put his hands inside the child's blouse, but didn't think she noticed.

Lambkin is charged with first degree sexual assault of a child.

As condition’s of his release, Lambkin is on electronic monitoring, his window shades must stay drawn, and he can’t leave his house if the girl is outside.