Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bill to protect sexual assault victims passes committee

After an hour of emotional testimony, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 11-1267, a measure designed to expand judges’ authority to protect victims of sexual assault with protective orders.

“Victims of sexual assault shouldn’t have to live in fear of being re-victimized by their attackers because of a loophole in the law,” said Senator Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield. “This law will ensure protective orders are issued to prevent victims from being harassed or intimidated by their attackers.”

Under existing law, a court may issue a protective order in domestic violence cases that restrict the defendant from being present at particular locations or contacting the victim. House Bill 11-1267 expands this to sexual assaults and other crimes that are subject to the Victims’ Rights Act.

Two women, who were victims of sexual assaults, testified in favor of the bill citing how the existing law did not adequately protect them and others from being contacted by their attackers. In one case, an offending father was forbidden from contacting his former wife, but was still able to contact the daughter he was abusing.

“State law is ambiguous. It has allowed too many sexual offenders a loophole to harass their victims. This bill ensures victims are protected from any contact or intimidation by their attackers,” concluded Mitchell.

Denver County District Attorney Mitch Morrissey and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck also testified in favor of House Bill 11-1267.

The bill passed unanimously out of committee.

1 comment:

  1. Very Well Done Colorado!This needs to go Country Wide! It's neglect to have left this ignored for as long as it has been. Our judges seem to be kept in the dark for quite some time now.