Rep. Marszalkowski’s bill that prohibits adults in positions of authority from having sexual relationships with minors under their supervision passes House
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Alex D. Marszalkowski’s (D-Dist. 52, Cumberland) legislation (2019-H 5817A) that defines any sexual contact by an individual with a position of authority over a person between the ages of 14 and under the age of 18 as third degree sexual assault passed the House of Representatives last week.
“This loophole in our criminal law needs to end and if a person in a position of authority exploits that role and begins a sexual relationship with a minor under their supervision, they need to be held accountable in the eyes of the law. This bill sends a very clear message that this type of behavior is not allowed in our state,” said Representative Marszalkowski.
The legislation defines “position of authority” as any person who is acting in the place of a parent and charged with any of the parent’s rights, duties or responsibilities to a person under the age of 18, or a person who is charged with any duty or responsibility for the health, welfare, or supervision of a person under the age of 18.
If the accused has a supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the accused’s legal, professional, or occupational status, or if the accused is otherwise acting in a position of authority with respect to the victim, any sexual contact with a minor under their care would be considered third degree sexual assault.
Since the bill did not pass the Senate, Representative Marszalkowski plans to reintroduce the legislation at the start of the 2020 General Assembly session in January.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903