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Miller to introduce legislation to increase protection from sexual assault for students

By AccessWDUN Staff

A state senator from Gainesville said he will introduce legislation in the 2020 session of the Georgia General Assembly to close a loophole in the current law designed to protect school students from sexual assault.

Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller said his legislation is aimed at further protecting students from sexual assault by those entrusted with their care.

"When legislation we pass doesn’t go far enough to protect our most vulnerable citizens like students in our schools, we must address necessary changes as soon as possible," Miller said in a press statement issued Thursday, Oct. 17. "This legislation will fix an oversight in our existing law and will add necessary protections for victims of sexual assault by ensuring their perpetrators can be brought to justice."

Miller pointed to a recent case that allowed the dismissal of a felony sexual assault charge against a coach because of certain language in the current law.

Under the current Georgia Code definition for improper sexual contact by employee or agent, sexual assault of a student occurs when the victim is "enrolled as a student at the school" Miller pointed out. This specific language was used by the Northeastern Judicial Circuit to send back a case to the state court regarding a coach who was charged with felony sexual assault. According to the decision by the circuit, the felony sexual assault charge did not apply since the accused coach "was not a teacher at the school where the student attended."

Miller's legislation would address the loophole by revising Georgia code and adding the language "within the school district" to the existing "enrolled as a student at the school."  A school district would be defined as "any area, county, independent, or local school district."

Miller said he wants the Senate to act upon the legislation quickly, so it can move on to the House and then to Gov. Kemp's desk for a signature early in the 2020 session. 

 

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Politics
  • Associated Tags: Butch Miller , Georgia General Assembly , State Sen. Butch Miller, 2020 legislative session , sexual assault of students
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Miller to introduce legislation to increase protection from sexual assault for students
A state senator from Gainesville said he will introduce legislation in the 2020 session of the Georgia General Assembly to close a loophole in the current law designed to protect school students from sexual assault.
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