GASTONIA -- A new bill to help protect kids from sex offenders is now law in North Carolina.
Gov. Pat McCroy traveled to Gastonia Thursday to sign the “Jessica Lunsford Restoration Act” into law.
It’s named after then 9-year-old Gastonia native, Jessica Lunsford.
Her aunt Sue Lunsford said, “Jessica was very loving, very sweet. The last words that she ever said to me was, 'I love you aunt Susie.' And that's always precious to me."
In 2005, shortly after her family moved to Florida from Gastonia, tragedy struck.
“She was kidnapped from her home, she was tortured and she was murdered by a convicted sex offender who lived nearby,” Gov. McCrory said.
Three years after her death, North Carolina passed the "Jessica Lunsford Act," making it illegal for sex offenders to be at places where children gather. But a judge struck it down, saying it's too vague.
So this summer, the General Assembly passed a second version of that act.
Stacie Rumenap, president of Stop Child Predators, said, “It deals with penalty enhancements. It deals with tracking and monitoring sex offenders. It deals with where sex offenders can go.”
Senator Buck Newton said, “We were more specific about some of the places, instead of having kind of like a catch-all category.”
The new bill says convicted sex offenders whose victims were children or teens under 18, or anyone else found by the court system to be a threat to children, cannot be at schools, daycares, churches, playgrounds, pools or any other places where children gather.
It also bans them from the State Fair.
Jessica's family says it's all about fighting for our children's future.
Sue Lunsford said, “Remember to do it for them. Even though they are not here, their spirit is here, so do it for them because this is what Jessie would've wanted to reach out to other children, and she did.”