For Immediate Release: 3/8/18
Annapolis — Yesterday, the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted unanimously in support of Senate Bill 270—the Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act of 2018. For the past five legislative sessions, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has championed and lobbied for the passage of this legislation alongside law enforcement officials, advocates, and survivors across Maryland in an effort to strengthen tools for prosecutors in cases involving serial rapists and child molesters. During the 2016 session, the bill passed the Senate, but did not receive a vote in the House of Delegates.
Senate Bill 270 will go to the full Senate Chamber for a vote next week.
“Please call and thank Chairman Bobby Zirkin and the Senators on the Judicial Proceedings Committee for this favorable report, and call your Senator to encourage them to support SB 270,” said State’s Attorney Mosby. “I am especially grateful to Senate sponsor, Senator Jim Brochin, who fought so hard to pass a strong version of this bill out of committee. It is so fitting that on International Women’s Day, the Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act received a unanimous favorable vote.”
State’s Attorney Mosby says that the fight is not over. In addition to the floor vote in the Senate, the legislation must also receive a favorable report from the House Judiciary Committee and the House of Delegates. Bills that pass the House after the “cross-over day” deadline on March 19th will be referred to the Senate Rules Committee.
Senate Bill 270/House Bill 301 is supported by all four official legislative caucuses — the Women Legislators of Maryland, the Legislative Black Caucus, the Legislative Latino Caucus, and the Asian American & Pacific Islander Caucus.
The bill provides a mechanism for the State to introduce evidence of a defendant’s other sexually assaultive behavior if relevant to a sex offense prosecution, bringing Maryland closer in compliance with the Federal Rules of Evidence. If passed, in serial sexual assault and serial child molestation cases, this legislation will allow juries to be informed of a defendant’s similar past sexual assaultive behavior, allowing such evidence to be introduced when consent is used as a defense in rape cases and when fabrication of the minor victim is used as a defense in child molestation cases.
“This legislation will help prosecutors across Maryland secure justice for sex abuse survivors and will put a stop to serial sexual predators who endanger the safety of Maryland women, children, and men,” concluded State’s Attorney Mosby.
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