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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 689         FILED ON: 1/19/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 469

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Ronald Mariano

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relating to comprehensive protection from childhood sexual abuse.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Ronald Mariano

3rd Norfolk

Russell E. Holmes

6th Suffolk

Garrett J. Bradley

3rd Plymouth

Stephen Stat Smith

28th Middlesex

Alice Hanlon Peisch

14th Norfolk

Alice K. Wolf

25th Middlesex

Shaunna O'Connell

3rd Bristol

Carlo Basile

1st Suffolk

F. Jay Barrows

1st Bristol

Edward F. Coppinger

10th Suffolk

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

Cheryl A. Coakley-Rivera

10th Hampden

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

12th Hampden

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Anne M. Gobi

5th Worcester

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

John D. Keenan

7th Essex

John J. Binienda

17th Worcester

Patricia A. Haddad

5th Bristol

Jason M. Lewis

31st Middlesex

Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex

Carlos Henriquez

5th Suffolk

Michael D. Brady

9th Plymouth

James J. Dwyer

30th Middlesex

David Paul Linsky

5th Middlesex

Christine E. Canavan

10th Plymouth

Thomas P. Conroy

13th Middlesex

Vincent A. Pedone

15th Worcester

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Theodore C. Speliotis

13th Essex

Louis L. Kafka

8th Norfolk

Antonio F. D. Cabral

13th Bristol

Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

20th Middlesex

Cleon H. Turner

1st Barnstable

Walter F. Timilty

7th Norfolk

William C. Galvin

6th Norfolk

Steven A. Baddour

 

Tackey Chan

2nd Norfolk

Ann-Margaret Ferrante

5th Essex

Thomas M. Petrolati

7th Hampden

David B. Sullivan

6th Bristol


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 689        FILED ON: 1/19/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 469

By Mr. Mariano of Quincy, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 469) of Ronald Mariano and others for legislation to provide for comprehensive protection from childhood sexual abuse.  The Judiciary. 

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 1523 OF 2009-2010.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

_______________

 

An Act relating to comprehensive protection from childhood sexual abuse.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1.   This Act may be cited as The Protection from Sexual Predators Act of 2011.

              SECTION 2.   Section 51A of Chapter 119 of the General Laws, as most recently amended by Section 97 of Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2008, shall be amended by adding at the end of subsection (k) the following paragraph:

              All corporations and other institutions, which employ mandated reporters not professionally licensed by the commonwealth, shall institute a program to implement the reporting requirements of this section.  Such program shall include, at a minimum, (i) the promulgation of a written protocol to be followed when a 51A report is required; (ii) an education program for each mandated reporter; and (iii) the posting, in a prominent public location, of the requirements of this section and the penalties for non-compliance.

              SECTION 3.   Section 51A of Chapter 119 of the General Laws, as most recently amended by Section 96 of Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2008, shall be amended by inserting, in the last sentence of subsection (c), the words “a sexual assault or” before the words “ serious bodily injury.”

              SECTION 4.   Section 51A of Chapter 119 of the General Laws, as most recently amended by Section 96 of Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2008, shall be amended by adding at the end of subsection (c) the following sentence:

              Any corporation or other institution which employs a mandated reporter who fails to make a report required by this section, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred thousand dollars.  It shall be a defense to any prosecution under this section that the corporation or other institution had complied with the requirements of subsection (k).

              SECTION 5.   Section 51A of Chapter 119 of the General Laws, as most recently amended by Section 95 of Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2008, shall be amended by adding at the end of subsection (a) the following paragraph:

              A mandated reporter who has reasonable cause to believe that a person who is alleged to have sexually abused a child in the past, presently represents a credible threat to a child under the age of eighteen years in a child or youth serving organization, shall have the same obligation to make oral and written reports of such threat to the appropriate law enforcement agency or official and the department.

              SECTION 6.    Chapter 258C of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 2 (b), as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section: -

              (b)  No compensation shall be paid under this chapter unless the claimant demonstrates that the crime was reported to the police or other law enforcement authorities or to an agency or entity obligated by law to report complaints of criminal misconduct to law enforcement authorities. Except in the case where the division finds such report to have been delayed for good cause, such report shall have been made within five days after the occurrence of such crime.  In the case of a claimant who was sexually abused as a minor, such good cause shall include the report of any duly licensed mental health professional stating an opinion that the claimant did not make the connection between the sexual abuse and the harm suffered as a result by the claimant at the time the abuse occurred, and that claimant's failure to make the connection was consistent with the typical responses by such victims of childhood sexual abuse.

              SECTION 7.    Chapter 258C of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 5 (a) (1), as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section: -

              (a) (1) A claim for compensation under this chapter shall be filed within three years of the date of the crime.  In the case of a claimant who was sexually abused as a minor, said three years shall commence to run when the claimant first makes the connection between the sexual abuse and the harm suffered as a result by the claimant.  The report of any duly licensed mental health professional stating an opinion as to the date when the claimant first made the connection between the sexual abuse and the harm suffered by the claimant, and that the claimant's failure to make the connection prior to that date was consistent with the typical responses by such victims of childhood sexual abuse, shall be prima facie evidence in all proceedings under this chapter.

              SECTION 8.   Chapter 277 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding at the end of section 63, as so appearing, the following paragraph: -

              Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an indictment or complaint alleging an offense of indecent assault and battery, or an offense of rape, may be found and filed at any time after the commission of such offense, provided that the victim was under the age of 18 when the offense was committed.

              SECTION 9.   Section 4C of Chapter 260 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, shall be amended by striking out the first paragraph thereof as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following:

              Any actions for assault and battery alleging the defendant sexually abused a minor, or for negligence alleging that the defendant negligently supervised a third person who sexually abused a minor, or that the defendant's conduct caused or contributed to the sexual abuse of a minor by a third person, may be commenced at any time.

              SECTION 10.  Section 85K of Chapter 231 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, shall be amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

              Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the limitations on liability set forth in this section shall not apply if the claim is for intentional or negligent conduct which caused or contributed to the sexual abuse of a minor.   For purposes of this section, "sexual abuse" shall be defined as set forth in section 4C of chapter 260.

              SECTION 11.   Section 85W of Chapter 231 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, shall be amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

              Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the limitations on liability set forth in this section shall not apply if the claim is for intentional or negligent conduct which caused or contributed to the sexual abuse of a minor.   For purposes of this section, "sexual abuse" shall be defined as set forth in section 4C of chapter 260.

              SECTION 12.   The provisions of Sections 9, 10 & 11 shall apply to all claims under Section 4C of Chapter 260 which have accrued, and to all actions which are pending, on the date upon which it becomes effective.

              SECTION 13.    The provisions of Sections 9, 10 & 11 shall be deemed to be retroactive to the fullest extent permitted under the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Rights of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

              SECTION 14.   The provisions of this bill shall become effective upon passage.

              SECTION 15.   Each section of this Act shall be separable and shall continue in effect if any provision hereof is deemed to be unconstitutional or otherwise ineffective.

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