|Posted:||January 7, 2013 10:44 AM|
|From:||Representative Mike Vereb|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Sexual Assault by Sports Official (Former HB1397)|
|In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation to create the offense of Sexual Assault by Sports Official. The need for this legislation is illustrated by the case of William “Billy” Gordon, a private volleyball coach and personal trainer from Montgomery County who was arrested for having an unlawful sexual relationship with a 15-year old girl he had coached and mentored. According to the arrest affidavit, the victim would frequently visit the coach’s home for physical condition training. The sexual assaults took place in the assailant’s home and at a nearby park. The victim had known the assailant for about four years.
Parents entrust their children to the care of coaches and other athletic personnel serving sports teams which are part of recreational leagues and other organizations outside of the school environment. These organizations operate a variety of sports programs for children and include activities such as youth soccer, Little League baseball and volleyball. My legislation targets sports officials, such as coaches, athletic trainers, team attendants and managers by providing that it is unlawful for these individuals to engage in sexual intercourse, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with a child under 18 years of age who is participating in the sports program.
The crime of Sexual Assault by Sports Official is modeled after the Institutional Sexual Assault statute, which makes it a felony of the third degree for an employee of a youth detention center to engage in sexual intercourse, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, or indecent contact with a child committed to the center. Just as with the Institutional Sexual Assault, I believe the General Assembly should create the crime of Sexual Assault by Sports Official.
We trust the employees of youth development centers to help our children grow into competent adults. We also punish them severely when they break the trust by sexually victimizing children through organized sports. House Bill 1397 passed the House on December 7, 2011 (194-0).
Former HB1397 Cosponsors: VEREB, MURT, RAPP, MULLERY, BEAR, BOBACK, BOYD, BRIGGS, COHEN, D. COSTA, DAVIS, DONATUCCI, J. EVANS, FARRY, GILLEN, GILLESPIE, GINGRICH, HARHART, HESS, HORNAMAN, JOHNSON, KAVULICH, McGEEHAN, MILLARD, PYLE, READSHAW, YOUNGBLOOD AND CALTAGIRONE
Introduced as HB112