Introduced Version






HOUSE BILL No. 1446

_____


DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 31-33.

Synopsis: DCS investigation of sexual abuse cases. Permits the department of child services (DCS) to determine that a report of suspected child abuse or neglect is not substantiated if: (1) the incident of suspected child abuse or neglect involves acts that would constitute sexual misconduct with a minor; (2) the Romeo and Juliet defense to sexual misconduct with a minor applies; and (3) the prosecuting attorney does not charge the person with sexual misconduct with a minor. Specifies that an administrative hearing officer may consider Romeo and Juliet evidence in determining whether a substantiated report of child abuse or neglect should be expunged from the child protection index.

Effective: July 1, 2011.





Cheatham




    January 18, 2011, read first time and referred to Committee on Family, Children and Human Affairs.







Introduced

First Regular Session 117th General Assembly (2011)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
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HOUSE BILL No. 1446



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning criminal law and procedure.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 31-33-8-7.5; (11)IN1446.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 31-33-8-7.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2011]: Sec. 7.5. If:
        (1) a suspected incident of child abuse or neglect involves a person at least eighteen (18) years of age who performs or submits to consensual sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct
with a child at least fourteen (14) years of age but less than sixteen (16) years of age;
        (2) the department determines that the defense under IC 35-42-4-9(e)
applies to the person allegedly responsible for the incident of child abuse or neglect; and
        (3)
the person allegedly responsible for the incident of child abuse or neglect is not charged with sexual misconduct with a minor (IC 35-42-4-9);
the department may determine that the report of child abuse or neglect is not substantiated.

SOURCE: IC 31-33-26-9; (11)IN1446.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. IC 31-33-26-9, AS ADDED BY P.L.138-2007,

SECTION 67, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2011]: Sec. 9. (a) Except as provided in sections 11 and 12 of this chapter, the department shall conduct an administrative hearing upon a request made under section 8 of this chapter.
    (b) At the administrative hearing, the department must prove by a preponderance of credible evidence that the perpetrator is responsible for the child's abuse or neglect.
    (c) During an administrative hearing under this section, the administrative hearing officer shall consider hearsay evidence to be competent evidence and may not exclude hearsay based on the technical rules of evidence. However, a determination may not be based solely on evidence that is hearsay.
    (d) If relevant evidence is presented at the hearing, the administrative hearing officer may consider whether IC 31-33-8-7.5 applies.
    (d) (e) If the department fails to carry the burden of proof under subsection (b), the department shall amend or expunge the report as ordered by the administrative hearing officer within the period provided under section 15 of this chapter.
    (e) (f) The department shall maintain the confidentiality of an abuse or a neglect report during the administrative process.
    (f) (g) The administrative hearing shall be closed.
    (g) (h) The administrative files shall be closed and not disclosed to the public.