HB1501 (2008)

Relative to the penalty for certain sexual assault cases where the perpetrator is under 21 years of age.


Status: HOUSE: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE House: Criminal Justice & Public Safety (Details)
Length: 311 words.


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Revisions of this bill in our system:

 HouseSenate
Public hearing:2008-01-17 10:00:00 LOB 204(unscheduled)
Executive session:2008-02-21 10:00:00(unscheduled)
Floor vote:2008-03-12 00:00:00(unscheduled)

HB 1501-FN – AS INTRODUCED

2008 SESSION

08-2187

04/09

HOUSE BILL 1501-FN

AN ACT relative to the penalty for certain sexual assault cases where the perpetrator is under 21 years of age.

SPONSORS: Rep. L. Hammond, Graf 11; Rep. G. Andersen, Graf 11; Rep. Hamm, Merr 4; Rep. Tupper, Merr 6

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

ANALYSIS

This bill establishes a class A misdemeanor offense under certain circumstances for a person who engages in sexual penetration with a person, other than his legal spouse, who is 13 years of age or older and under 16 years of age where the age difference between the actor and the other person is 3 years or more.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

08-2187

04/09

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eight

AN ACT relative to the penalty for certain sexual assault cases where the perpetrator is under 21 years of age.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Felonious Sexual Assault. Amend RSA 632-A:3, II-IV to read as follows:

II. Engages in sexual penetration with a person, other than his legal spouse, who is 13 years of age or older and under 16 years of age where the age difference between the actor and the other person is 3 years or more, except as provided under paragraph V; or

III. Engages in sexual contact with a person other than his legal spouse who is under 13 years of age[.] ; or

IV. Engages in sexual contact with the person when the actor is in a position of authority over the person and uses that authority to coerce the victim to submit under any of the following circumstances:

(a) When the actor has direct supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim by virtue of the victim being incarcerated in a correctional institution, the secure psychiatric unit, or juvenile detention facility where the actor is employed; or

(b) When the actor is a probation or parole officer or a juvenile probation and parole officer who has direct supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim while the victim is on parole or probation or under juvenile probation.

(c) Consent of the victim under any of the circumstances set forth in paragraph IV shall not be considered a defense.

2 New Paragraph; Felonious Sexual Assault. Amend RSA 632-A:3 by inserting after paragraph IV the following new paragraph:

V. A person who is charged under paragraph II of this section is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if such person is under 21 years of age and:

(a) Has no prior conviction for a sexual offense;

(b) The actor did not use force or coercion against the victim; and

(c) All victim statements submitted to the court are considered.

3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2009.

LBAO

08-2187

11/30/07

HB 1501-FN - FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT relative to the penalty for certain sexual assault cases where the perpetrator is under 21 years of age.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Judicial Branch, Judicial Council and the Department of Corrections have determined this bill will decrease state expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2009 and each year thereafter. The Association of Counties has determined this bill will increase county expenditures in FY 2009 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on local expenditures or on state, county and local revenue.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Judicial Branch stated this bill would amend RSA 632-A:3 to reduce the level of felonious sexual assault from a class B felony to a class A misdemeanor where the victim is between thirteen and fifteen years old, the defendant is under twenty-one years old, the defendant has no prior convictions for sexual offense, and the defendant did not us force or coercion against the victim. The Judicial Branch has no information on which to estimate how many charges are likely to be reduced pursuant to this proposed addition to the criminal code. The Judicial Branch does have information on the cost of processing felonious sexual assaults as a class B felony (average cost $647.17 in FY 2009 and $661.17 each year thereafter) or as a class A misdemeanor in trial courts ($49.60 in FY 2009 and $51.14 each year thereafter). Since it is less costly to the judicial branch to process a class A misdemeanor than a class B felony, there would be a cost savings to the judicial branch for every prosecution reduced from a class B felony to a class A misdemeanor pursuant to the bill.

    The Judicial Council stated the bill makes a substantial change in a felony level sexual assault statute that is commonly charged. It is not possible predict the number of cases which may result from the passage of this bill, therefore it is not possible to provide a precise statement of the fiscal impact. However, the change to a misdemeanor level offense from a felony can result in a potential significant reduction in cost for indigent defense services especially for those cases which are compensated on the fixed fee basis, those being public defender representation or contract attorney representation. The potential savings can be stated as follows; the current

                      LBAO

                      08-2187

                      11/30/07

    contract rate for felony level representation is $765.25 compared to the misdemeanor fixed fee rate of $275, or a reduced rate of $431.25 per charge.

    The Department of Corrections stated they are unable to determine the savings that may result from individuals being incarcerated at a county facility instead of a state facility.

    The Association of Counties stated this bill would create a misdemeanor. The statewide average cost to incarcerate an individual in a county correctional facility is approximately $29,000. The Association is unable to determined the number of individuals who might be detained or incarcerated under the new misdemeanor and is therefore unable to determine the actual impact on count expenditures.