§61-8B-9a. Mandatory sentence for person committing certain sex offenses against children.

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section one-a, article eleven-a, section four, article eleven-b and section two, article twelve of chapter sixty-two of this code, a person shall not be eligible for probation, home incarceration or an alternative sentence provided under this code if they are convicted of an offense under section three, four, five, seven, eight or nine, article eight-b, chapter sixty-one of this code, are eighteen years of age or older, the victim is younger than twelve years of age and the finder of fact determines that one of the following aggravating circumstances exists:

(1) The person employed forcible compulsion in commission of the offense;

(2) The offense constituted, resulted from or involved a predatory act as defined in subsection (m), section two, article twelve, chapter fifteen of this code;

(3) The person was armed with a weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a dangerous weapon and used or threatened to use the weapon or article to cause the victim to submit; or

(4) The person removed the victim from one place to another and did not release the victim in a safe place. For the purposes of this section, "release the victim in a safe place" means release of a victim in a place and manner which realistically conveys to the victim that he or she is free from captivity in circumstances and surroundings wherein aid is readily available.

(b)(1) The existence of any fact which would make any person ineligible for probation under subsection (a) of this section because of the existence of an aggravating circumstance shall not be applicable unless such fact is clearly stated and included in the indictment or presentment by which such person is charged and is either: (i) Found by the court upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere; or (ii) found by the jury, if the matter be tried before a jury, upon submitting to such jury a special interrogatory for such purpose; or (iii) found by the court, if the matter be tried by the court, without a jury.

(2) Insofar as the provisions of this section relate to mandatory sentences without probation, home incarceration or alternative sentences, all such matters requiring such sentence shall be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in all cases tried by the jury or the court.