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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 14, 2022 10:44 AM
From: Representative James B. Struzzi, II
To: All House members
Subject: Cody’s Law to Protect Those That Cannot Protect Themselves (Former HB 185)
In the near future, I intend to reintroduce legislation that amends Section 2702 (relating to aggravated assault) of the Crimes Code to provide that any individual that intentionally causes bodily injury to a person with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder is guilty of aggravated assault, a felony of the second degree.  The need for this legislation was made abundantly clear after Cody Overdorff, a young man with intellectual disabilities, was lured and ruthlessly attacked and beaten by a group of four people without provocation. While this group was arrested for this assault, they were only charged with misdemeanors as Cody’s injuries did not constitute “serious bodily injury.”  In response to stakeholder concerns, the iteration of the bill that I intend to introduce will not include victims with “physical disabilities” as concerns were raised that the definition was overly broad and could lead to unintended and unjust results. 
I believe that individuals who target vulnerable and helpless victims pose a significant threat to our society and should be subject to harsher penalties under the law. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to help prevent any further acts of violence against individuals with autism or intellectual disabilities and better protect and serve our Commonwealth residents.

Introduced as HB28