Every July, the Indiana legislature adds new laws to our books. Here at Banks & Brower we have provided a summary of the new Sex offenses laws that affect the area of criminal law.
Senate Bill 264:
- “Rape kits” are the standard medical forensic examination kits for victims of a sex crime developed by the state police department. The statewide sexual assault response team advisory council must prepare a report regarding the feasibility of creating a kit tracking and testing data base; the identity of the supervising agency or entity responsible for creating, operating, managing, and maintaining the kit tracking and testing data base; as well as possible sources of funding for the kit tracking and testing data base. The council is required to submit a report to the legislative council in an electronic format not later than December 1, 2018.
House Bill 1309:
- Sexual harassment prevention instruction must be provided annually to members of the general assembly. The personnel subcommittee of the legislative council must prepare and submit recommended sexual harassment prevention policies governing legislators to the legislative council. The legislative council must approve sexual harassment policies not later than November 20, 2018.
- Four additional members of the general assembly shall be appointed to serve on the subcommittee for the sole purpose of participating in the preparation of recommended sexual harassment prevention policies. The terms of the additional members expire on November 21, 2018.
- Sex offenders who establish a residence with the intent to reside at the residence, within a one-mile radius of the residence of the victim of the offender’s sex offense; and knowing the location of the victim’s residence; commits invasion of privacy. Besides, sex offenders are prohibited from attending a house of worship located on school property while classes, extracurricular activities, or other school activities are being held. Out-of-state sex offenders who fail to register as a sex or violent offender for an offense originating from another jurisdiction will be committing a Level 5 felony in certain instances.
Violence and other offenses:
Senate Bill 99:
- Civil forfeiture requires the prosecuting attorney to file an affidavit of probable cause with a court within 7 days after property is seized, otherwise, the property will be returned to the owner. The owner of real property or of a vehicle (not being operated at the time of the seizure) can obtain provisional custody of the seized property pending a final forfeiture determination. The time limit for filing a forfeiture action is 21 days, if the owner has filed a written demand for return of the property; or 90 days, otherwise. The owner whose property is returned is not liable for the costs of storage, transportation, or maintenance. In order to file a forfeiture action, the prosecuting attorney must report certain information concerning forfeitures to the prosecuting attorneys council, with certain requirements on the use and compensation of outside counsel in forfeiture actions. Prosecuting attorneys or deputy prosecuting attorneys are prohibited from receiving a contingency fee for a forfeiture action.
House Bill 1060:
- The provisions included in a motor vehicle rental agreement may no longer include a presumption that a motor vehicle renter is not liable, in certain circumstances, for losses incurred by the rental company related to theft of the motor vehicle. A waiver will have to cover all damage, loss, and liability, less any included deductible, to which a rental company and renter may otherwise agree concerning the renter’s responsibility.
- The offense of auto theft and receiving stolen auto parts is repealed. A person who knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control of a motor vehicle or a component part of a motor vehicle, with the intent to deprive the other person of any part of its value or use, commits theft, a Level 6 felony. If the person has a prior unrelated conviction for theft of a motor vehicle or theft of a component part, commits theft, a Level 5 felony.
Senate Bill 203:
- Crimes resulting in the loss of a fetus may imply committing murder; voluntary manslaughter; involuntary manslaughter; and feticide; against a fetus in any stage of development. These offenses do not apply to a lawfully performed abortion; or a pregnant woman with respect to a fetus carried by the woman. A person who commits a felony that causes the termination of a pregnancy may, with exceptions, receive an additional sentence of six to 20 years.
House Bill 1250:
- There have been certain terminological changes. In particular, battery as Level 2, 3, 4, and 5 felonies will be considered as “crime of violence”.
- Besides, the definition of “public safety official” will include a bailiff of any court and a special deputy.
House Bill 1270:
- The human and sexual trafficking statute has been subject to changes too.
- The term “human and sexual trafficking” changes to “human trafficking”, which includes the offenses of labor and sexual trafficking.
- A distinction has been made between the offenses for labor and sexual trafficking and certain crimes remain.
- The element of force is removed from forced labor, marriage, prostitution, and participating in sexual conduct.
- Involuntary servitude is removed from the human trafficking statute.
- The element that a solicitor must know that a person is a human trafficking victim before committing the offense is removed from the sexual trafficking statute.
- New elements are added to certain human and sexual trafficking offenses.
- The rape shield statute to include victims of human trafficking and certain other offenses is extended.
- An element is added to the defense of prosecution under the offenses of sexual misconduct with a minor and promotion of sexual trafficking of a younger child.
- Certain defenses to a prosecution of making an unlawful proposition are prohibited.
- Law enforcement must notify the department of child services of a possible child trafficking victim in certain sexual offenses.
- There is a defense for the crime of maintaining a common nuisance if the charged offense involves less than a specified quantity of marijuana, hashish, hash oil, or salvia or involves paraphernalia; and the person does not have a prior unrelated conviction for maintaining a common nuisance.
- There is a new exemption for the transfer or receipt of reasonable charges and fees for adoption services provided by an attorney licensed in Indiana from a profiting from an adoption offense.