On Tuesday, December 11th, The CAC hosted a press conference for State Senator Joan Huffman and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst regarding Senate Bill 12.
Senate Bill 12 is designed to provide greater resources to prosecutors and victims of sexual assault. Under current Texas law, a defendant’s criminal sexual record is admissible as evidence only in cases where a child was previously victimized by the same person. Huffman’s bill is modeled after Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE) 413, which specifically allows for the admission of other similar offenses in sexual assault cases. So far, eleven states have enacted similar legislation.
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst voiced his support for the legislation at Huffman’s Houston news conference: “Here in Texas we are serious about getting child predators off our streets and out of our neighborhoods. By allowing evidence of prior sexual assault offenses to be admitted in a case, Senate Bill 12 will strengthen Texas’ Jessica’s Law and help protect our children from these dangerous criminals and put them behind bars once and for all. This Session, we are sending a strong clear message to those looking to harm our kids: not in Texas.”