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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 5, 2021 09:39 AM
From: Representative Carrie Lewis DelRosso
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting Elders and Other Care-Dependent Adults From Sexual Assault
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation to extend the protections of the institutional sexual assault statute to cover elders and other care-dependent persons who are assaulted by those who have the responsibility of providing care.  I believe we must prioritize protecting our most vulnerable, which includes our elderly and others in care facilities.  
Current law gives these extra protections to students, inmates, dependent children and others who are more vulnerable because of the institutional setting in which they find themselves.  This new offense would be triggered when a caretaker engages in sexual intercourse or indecent contact with a care-dependent person who receives care in or from a facility.  A person convicted under this new subsection of institutional sexual assault would commit a 3rd degree felony, punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $15,000.  Under this legislation, a facility is defined to include but not limited to places such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, private care residences and adult daily living centers. Importantly, this legislation will not criminalize consensual sexual relations between spouses or other intimate partners. 
This legislation aims to protect care-dependent persons and adequately punish those use their position of power and authority to sexually exploit them. It is imperative that the Commonwealth continue to ensure that those individuals that cannot effectively care for themselves are protected. 
Please join me in co-sponsoring in this important legislation.

Introduced as HB975