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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Ruling in Minnesota Rape Case Fuels Calls to Change Sexual Assault Regulation

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“We’re calling on the Legislature, the Minnesota Legislature, this session to actually deal with these points,” mentioned Lindsay Brice, the regulation and coverage director on the Minnesota Coalition Towards Sexual Assault. “We will’t wait. It’s not truthful to survivors to proceed having debates.”

Marion O’Neill, a Republican Minnesota state consultant, mentioned she first launched a five-part invoice in 2019 that aimed, amongst different adjustments, to revise the state’s definition of psychological incapacitation. She mentioned on the time that the invoice wanted extra vetting and enter from stakeholders, so a working group was assembled that 12 months that included sexual assault survivors, victims’ advocates, prosecutors and legal protection legal professionals.

A brand new invoice was launched in February. It will create a brand new sexual extortion crime, making it unlawful to blackmail or in any other case threaten somebody as a approach of coercing them into sexual contact. It will additionally broaden the definition of “mentally incapacitated” to say that individuals in such a state are “incapable of consenting or incapable of appreciating, understanding, or controlling” their conduct.

“It’s actually ignited a hearth beneath the invoice as a result of individuals are listening to in regards to the Supreme Courtroom’s choice and are rightly outraged about how our present regulation works, or doesn’t work, because the case could also be,” considered one of its authors, Consultant Kelly Moller, a Democrat, mentioned in a telephone interview.

The invoice has bipartisan help, and Ms. O’Neill, additionally an creator, mentioned that the management within the State Senate was working to maneuver it ahead. The Supreme Courtroom choice had helped, in a approach, by drawing new consideration to its significance, she added.

“I don’t know of one other invoice within the Minnesota Home that has that a lot help,” Ms. O’Neill mentioned, including, “I consider we’re actually going to make this occur.”

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