Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Montgomery school board ‘uncomfortable’ with Senator Jamie Raskin's sex-abuse bill

Gazette: Montgomery school board ‘uncomfortable’ with sex-abuse bill

Wants criminal penalties for adults regardless of age

The Montgomery County school board feels “uncomfortable” with part of a Senate bill to regulate which adults could be punished for sexual conduct with a student, the board president wrote in a letter.
In a Feb. 21 letter to state Sen. Jamie B. Raskin, board President Philip Kauffman said the board is concerned that the bill requires an adult to be at least seven years older than a student for sexual conduct between them to warrant criminal punishment for the adult.
Kauffman also sent a letter dated Feb. 21 to Del. Luke Clippinger (D-Dist. 26) of Baltimore — the House sponsor of the bill — expressing the same concern about the age gap.
The letters comes about 10 days after the school board voted Feb. 11 to support Raskin’s bill and a different bill in the House — sponsored by Dels. Luiz R.S. Simmons and Sam Arora — that addresses the same issue, but does not include an age gap.
Maryland law criminalizes sexual contact between certain people in a position of authority and a minor in their care.
The two groups of lawmakers behind the bills, however, say there is a huge loophole in the law regarding which adults can and should face criminal penalties for such conduct...

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