Prosecuting Attorneys Council (IPAC) is applauding the Indiana Senate’s
approval of S.B. 206--authored by State Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper--under
which child victims of sex crimes would no longer be “subjected to the
trauma of discovery depositions, except in some circumstances.”
S.B. 206 passed the
Senate by a 49-1 vote.
“Child victims of
sexual assault and other heinous acts are re-traumatized every time they
have to restate and discuss the terrible acts they experienced,” IPAC said
in a statement released today. “Under current law, this can happen during
depositions that occur prior to a trial.”
that any child that is a sex abuse victim should have to go through a
deposition,” Messmer said. “During these cases, I believe it’s important we
consider their youth and take into account the distress they have endured.
This legislation would be a great step for Indiana’s court systems and I’m
pleased to see it pass the Indiana Senate.”
S.B. 206 would
redefine the procedures for depositions for any victims of a sex crime who
are aged 16 or younger. Indiana is one of only five states in the nation
currently allowing unfettered access to depositions, regardless of the
charge or the victim.
Under S.B. 206,
defense counsel would still have access to forensic interviews, which are
conducted by trained professionals and video recorded, and the right to
confrontation in a trial setting as provided by the U.S. Constitution.
“We would like to
thank Sen. Messmer for his leadership on this important issue,” IPAC
Executive Director Chris Naylor said. “S.B. 206 is a strong step forward for
child victims who shouldn’t have to re-live their traumatic experience over
and over again.”
The bill now moves
to the House, where it will be sponsored by State Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel.