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NCJ Number: 64876 Find in a Library
Title: VIRGINIA - COMMENTARY ON THE SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL 291 (CRIMINAL SEXUAL ASSAULT)
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: University of Virginia
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 210
Sponsoring Agency: University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS REPORT PRESENTS COMMENTS BY THE VIRGINIA STATE CRIME COMMISSION TASK FORCE ON CRIMINAL SEXUAL ASSAULT REGARDING PROPOSED LEGISLATION (SENATE BILL 291) TO REVISE VIRGINIA'S APPROACH TO SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES.
Abstract: OVERALL, THE TASK FORCE OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORTED THE BILL AS A RATIONAL YET FIRM APPROACH TO THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. SENATE BILL 291, WHICH PASSED THE SENATE DURING THE 1978 SESSION, IS A SLIGHTLY AMENDED VERSION OF A BILL SUBMITTED TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN 1978. CRIMINAL SEXUAL ASSAULT ENCOMPASSES BOTH FORCIBLE RAPE AND OTHER FORMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, INCLUDING FORCIBLE SODOMY AND INCEST. ITS RATE OF OCURRENCE HAS INCREASED OVER THE PAST DECADE. IN ADDITION, IT IS ONE OF THE MOST UNDERREPORTED CRIMES AND HAS EXTREMELY LOW RATES OF ARREST AND CONVICTION. NONLEGISLATIVE SOLUTIONS INCLUDE EDUCATING CHILDREN AND OTHER POTENTIAL VICTIMS, AND SENSITIZING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO VICTIMS' PROBLEMS. MODEL LEGISLATIVE APPROACHES INCLUDE THOSE USED BY THE MODEL PENAL CODE AND LAWS IN MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, AND NEW YORK. THESE LAWS' MAIN THEMES WERE INCORPORATED INTO SENATE BILL 291. MAIN FEATURES INCLUDE (1) FOCUS ON THE OFFENDER, NOT ON THE VICTIM BY ELIMINATING SUCH CONCEPTS AS 'CONSENT' AND RESISTANCE;' (2) SEX NEUTRALITY; (3) COMPREHENSIVENESS, IN THAT ALL FORCIBLE SEXUAL CONDUCT IS TREATED WITHIN ONE STATUTE; (4) GRADING OF SEXUAL ASSAULT INTO DIFFERENT DEGREES AND TREATING LIKE OFFENSES SIMILARLY; (5) SEVERE LIMITATIONS ON USE OF EVIDENCE OF THE VICTIM'S PAST SEXUAL HISTORY; (6) ELIMINATION OF THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE VICTIM'S TESTIMONY BE CORROBORATED; AND (7) PROVISIONS ON RECIDIVISM, CONSECUTIVE SENTENCES, PROBATION, AND PAROLE. NINE APPENDIXES PRESENT STATUTES ON SEXUAL ASSAULT, MEMORANDA ON PROPOSED LEGISLATION AND ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE, HOSPITAL PROTOCOL FOR TREATMENT OF VICTIMS, AND A STUDY OF THOSE CONVICTED OF SEX OFFENSES IN VIRGINIA. A COPY OF SENATE BILL 291 IS ALSO INCLUDED. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Law reform; Model penal code; Sexual assault; State laws; Virginia
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64876

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