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Rollins backs tougher penalties in abuse of power cases – Boston News, Weather, Sports – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-12-07 19:16:24 –

Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County District Attorney, warned Congress on Tuesday that existing legislation leaves a dangerous “loophole” for adults who abuse their authority to engage in sexual activity with minors. Called for a new criminal accusation against.

If a legislator submits a Rollins-approved bill (H 1801 / S 1092), he abuses his position to participate in sexual activity with teachers, coaches, babysitters, mentors, and children under supervision. Other adults who do will face considerable imprisonment.

Under current law, anyone in Massachusetts over the age of consent of 16 years or older can legally make sexual contact with minors over 14 years of age and have sex with minors over 16 years of age. can do.

“This is a problem if people over the age of 16 are adults and are in a position of authority or trust,” Rollins told the judiciary.

Last year, the Suffolk County DA office convened an adult leadership council that survived childhood sexual abuse and assault. Rollins recalled that members of the council heard stories of children who were victims of someone “trusted”, such as a baseball coach, two priests, and a board member of a youth music organization. ..

According to Rollins, despite the imbalanced power structure of the relationship, some cases could not be prosecuted at all because the children were of a technically well-consensual age.

Rollins’ testimony took place the day after her office announced that a former Boston public school junior high school teacher had pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse involving a former student.

David Rockwood, 54, was sentenced to four years in prison on Monday, followed by two years of probation after pleading guilty to four rape charges against his child. From 1996, DA’s office began to abuse his 12-year-old student at Timilty Middle School in Roxbury, taking advantage of his position “to gain her trust and prepare for the abuse.” Did.

As Rollins pointed out at a hearing on Tuesday, the prosecutor could only claim Rockwood for some of his crimes. According to Rollins’ office, he continued to abuse the survivor beyond his 16th birthday, but as the survivor reached the age of consent, DA no longer received the same legal protection. Stated.

“It’s unbelievable that we’re talking about this, but I’m very grateful for considering closing this loophole,” Rollins told Congressman Tuesday. “There is a real life that is affected.”

The bill, submitted by Senator Joan Lovely, allows up to 10 years’ imprisonment for a person in the position of trust, authority, or supervision who has assaulted and assaulted a child between the ages of 14 and 18.

Adults who commit similar crimes against children under the age of 14 are “imposed to life imprisonment or imprisonment for any period of 10 years or more” under the bill. Adult caretakers who have sex with minors of the age of consent face “life imprisonment or imprisonment in state prisons for any number of years.”

The law also emphasizes that no one under the age of 18 can agree to sexual interaction with an adult in an authoritative position in such cases.

“Teachers, coaches, tutors, mentors-everyone who has all sorts of authority over a child should strive to protect it, not exploit it,” said Salem Democrat Lovely. I did. “This bill helps to close that loophole.”

At a hearing on Tuesday, I submitted a half-dozen bill to the judicial committee. This includes another bill (S 1091) that requires schools to implement a new standardized screening mechanism to determine if they have previously been disciplined for abuse or sexual misconduct. It will be.

“I don’t understand that this isn’t happening,” Suzanne Messina, a member of the Massachusetts Children’s Citizens Group or MassKids Board of Directors, told the Commission. “People most outsourced to our children should be screened. Just as parents screen babysitters, just as parents screen nannies, those parents , We have the right to expect our school to do the same for those we outsource to our children. “

(Copyright (c) 2021 State Capitol News Agency.

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Rollins backs tougher penalties in abuse of power cases – Boston News, Weather, Sports Source link Rollins backs tougher penalties in abuse of power cases – Boston News, Weather, Sports

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