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Child Sexual Abuse Legislation with Gillespie Amendment Passes House

Child Sexual Abuse Legislation with Gillespie Amendment Passes House
 
HARRISBURG – Senate Bill 260, legislation that expands penalties and defines jurisdiction in child sexual abuse cases, was passed by the House with a unanimous vote on Wednesday, said Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York) today.
 
“I am very pleased that this legislation received a unanimous vote in the House, and it strengthens our resolve to do our absolute best to protect the most vulnerable members of our society-our children,” said Gillespie.
 
The bill increases the criminal penalty for adults who engage in a course of conduct resulting in the corruption of the morals of a minor. In those instances where there is a course of conduct involved in the corruption and the corrupting acts relate to sex offenses committed against a child, the penalty will be increased from a from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony. The upgraded penalty carries a maximum of seven years in prison and a fine of $15,000. In addition, the legislation allows the attorney general to investigate and prosecute any case under the sexual abuse of children section of the Pennsylvania Crime Code where the case would involve more than one county, or any county in the Commonwealth and another state.
 
Gillespie had the bill amended to include language that criminalizes a course of conduct referred to as “grooming,” where persons can lull a child victim into a false sense of security through a trusted relationship, and over a period of time, start the child into drinking, drugs, watching pornographic movies and culminating in sexual acts.
 
“The amendment that I was successful in adding to the bill was the result of a nearly five-year effort, and that added protection will result in more effective prosecutions and protections for children,” said Gillespie. “I congratulate all of the House and Senate colleagues who were involved in moving this important legislation through the General Assembly. I anxiously await the governor’s signature on the bill.

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