From left, state Reps. Roger Hauck, Julie Alexander, Julie Rogers, Sara Cambensy, Kyra Bolden, Annette Glenn, Mary Whiteford and Daire Rendon pose on the House floor on Thursday, May 13. The representatives are introducing a plan to protect sexual assault survivors.
Plan would criminalize authorities who prevent reporting
The House Committee on Judiciary today approved state Rep. Julie Alexander’s plan to prohibit authority figures from using their position to prevent the reporting of sexual assault.
Alexander’s House Bill 4851 and several other proposals were introduced to address failures of current law uncovered by the investigation into assaults committed by Larry Nassar.
“By coming forward, sexual assault survivors can help bring abusers to justice and prevent future violence,” said Alexander, of Hanover. “Unfortunately, we have seen the real-world consequences when victims are obstructed by authority figures — professionals who should be nothing but supportive of identifying and prosecuting assault. My plan will hold those who abuse their authority to deter reporting criminally responsible.”
HB 4851 would prohibit using one’s professional position of authority over another person to prevent or attempt to prevent the person from reporting criminal sexual conduct or child abuse. Alexander’s plan received unanimous support in a committee vote.
The committee also approved three other bills in the package today, which would:
- Prohibit a person from using one’s position of authority to prevent reporting of sexual assault to a college or university Title IX coordinator;
- Require employers to distribute a training package to employees who are mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse or neglect; and
- Exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act the identities of victims of sexual misconduct who proceed anonymously in a civil action.
The bills now advance to the House floor for consideration. Other legislation included in the package remains under consideration by the committee.
State Rep. Julie Alexander today praised the Office of Auditor General (OAG) for its thorough work maintaining accountability in state government after the office reported that ineffective leadership and operations at Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) contributed to a multibillion-dollar payment of benefits to ineligible recipients.
State Rep. Julie Alexander today announced Habitat for Humanity of Michigan has named her its Public Official of the Year in recognition of her efforts to reduce the property tax burden on low-income homeowners.
The Michigan House of Representatives today approved state Rep. Julie Alexander’s bipartisan plan to protect sexual assault survivors by prohibiting the use of professional authority to prevent reporting of sexual misconduct.