The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 551 sponsored by Rep. McNamara on victims of criminal acts. This bill:
- provides that a new registration period may be imposed if a sex or violent offender fails to register or improperly registers as a sex or violent offender
- prohibits records held by the department of child services to be disclosed to any person who requests the record if it is related to an ongoing police investigation or criminal prosecution
- provides that a parent, a guardian, or another representative may file a petition for an order for protection on behalf of a child against a person who engages in sexual grooming activity
- amends the definition of “crime of domesticviolence”.
- creates a procedure where a victim of a sex crime and child victim of a sex crime can have their identity protected from the public
- provides that if a child less than 16 years of age is summoned to testify as a witness to any hearing in any criminal matter, the child shall be allowed to have a comfort item or comfort animal while testifying
- expands the list of offenses that may be prosecuted before a victim reaches 31 years of age to include all offenses of child molesting, vicarious sexual gratification, child solicitation, child seduction, sexual misconduct with a minor, and incest
- provides that a person commits the offense of domestic battery, as a Level 6 felony, if the person has a prior unrelated conviction for strangulation
- provides that a person commits the offense of strangulation, as a Level 5 felony, if the person has a prior unrelated conviction for strangulation. Provides that a person commits the offense of kidnapping, as a Level 4 felony, if it results in moderate bodily injury to a person other than the removing person
- provides that a person commits the offense of criminal confinement, as a Level 4 felony, if it results in moderate bodily injury to a person other than the confining person.
- amends certain age requirements and adds enhanced offenses to the offense of child seduction
- provides that a person at least 18 years of age who knowingly or intentionally: (1) performs or submits to sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct with a child less than 16 years of age; or (2) performs or submits to any fondling or touching with a child less than 16 years of age with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the older person; commits sexual misconduct with a minor
- prohibits a person who has a Class D felony conviction or a Level 6 felony conviction for domestic battery within the previous 15 years from petitioning the court to reduce the felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor
- urges the legislative council to assign to an interim study committee the issue of depositions of child victims of sex offenses.
The bill was amended to change the phrase “less than age 13” to “13 years of age or less.” The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council testified in favor of the bill. The Indiana Public Defender Council testified against the bill. The amended bill passed 11-1.
Read the bill at http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/senate/551