LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that would help legally address sexual assault charges and allow for extended protections against abuse in the state of Michigan.
“This topic is something that I and all of my colleagues in the Senate feel strongly about,” said Hune, R-Fowlerville. “The intention of this legislation is to protect our children from future abuse and to bring justice to those who have suffered abuse in the past. No child should have to deal with the emotional hardship of criminal sexual conduct.”
Senate Bills 871-880 would expand numerous existing laws and create new legal protections. The bills would allow prosecutors to bring charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct against a minor, no matter when the act of abuse occurred. The bills would also allow charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct against a minor up to the survivor’s 48th birthday, or within 30 years of an accused being identified by DNA evidence.
The bills would also allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to remain publicly anonymous when bringing a claim in the Michigan Court of Claims.
In addition to legal protections, the bill also would expand mandatory reporting requirements to include sports coaches, athletic trainers and college professors. If an employee fails to report such crimes, they could face a felony charge with up to two years imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both. A volunteer serving in one of these positions who fails to report abuse would face a misdemeanor of up to one year in jail, or a $1,000 fine, or both.
The legislation now heads to the House for further consideration.