Reps. Frye & Eberhart Protect the Innocent
STATEHOUSE - Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) authored and Rep. Sean Eberhart co-authored House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1080, which was signed into law by the governor Thursday. The legislation imposes stricter penalties against sexual battery.
HEA 1080 makes sexual battery a Class D felony if someone touches an unaware person to satisfy one’s own sexual desires. A Class D felony is punishable by a prison term ranging from six months to three years.
“This bill closes a loophole in the Indiana Code that currently fails to prosecute sexual predators to the deserved extent,” said Rep. Frye. “Protections will be extended to someone who was unknowingly taken advantage of whether they are sleeping, drugged or in any other situation where, before this bill, the assailant didn’t receive the appropriate punishment.”
The legislation came out of the Courts and Criminal Code Committee where Decatur County Prosecuting Attorney James Rosenbury testified in favor of the measure. Rosenbury cited an incident where an older gentleman fondled his daughter’s sleeping friend. The case was filed as a Class B misdemeanor. Such cases carry a maximum prison term of 180 days and a $1000 fine.
“With this legislation, the safeguards will be in place to prosecute someone who harms a child under their care to the fullest extent,” said Rep. Eberhart. “This legislation protects those who can’t protect themselves.”
HEA 1080 will be effective July 1.