Expanded child enticement bill advances

A bill that would expand Nebraska's child enticement law to include all kinds of solicitation has won first-round legislative approval.

Lawmakers advanced a measure Monday that would forbid anyone from trying to lure a child younger than 14 away from parents, guardians, legal custodians or the general public. Nebraska's current law only bans efforts to coax a child into a vehicle. Omaha Sen. Pete Pirsch said he introduced the bill because of Amber Harris, a 12-year-old who vanished while walking home from an Omaha school bus stop in 2005. Her remains were found in a shallow grave in 2006. Registered sex offender Roy Ellis Jr. was later convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.

Lawmakers advanced the measure, 31-0, through the first of three readings.