Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Criminalizing Sexual Assault By Fraud by Medical Professional

Today, Representative Kate Hogan​ and I testified in support of our legislation to close a dangerous loophole that has let healthcare providers who abuse or molest their patients by way of unethical practices go unprosecuted.

The legislation will update Massachusetts sexual assault laws in order to clearly outline the crime of medical professionals claiming sexual contact for a medical purpose. We would add sections to the existing rape and indecent assault and battery statutes to criminalize this behavior.

Currently, in Massachusetts it is not illegal to obtain consent through fraud. Two rulings in Massachusetts found that if a person consents to sexual intercourse, even under false pretenses, it is still consent. This must end.

I also testified on my bill to strengthen penalties for those who commit hate crimes. Increases the prison sentences of those found guilty of assault or battery for purpose of intimidation. Currently the penalty is a fine of $5,000 and a jail sentence of not more than 2.5 years. The bill would increase the fine to $10,000 and increase the prison sentence to 5 years. Also, the penalty for a battery which results in bodily injury would increase.