A few years ago, people across the country watched as dozens of brave young women gave powerful testimony against disgraced Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar.
While no one can fix the awful things that happened to these young women, we have a duty to learn from the Nassar case and make reforms to better protect Michigan children from abuse. Unfortunately, several the shortcomings uncovered by the investigation into the Nassar assaults have not yet been fully addressed.
This week, I helped reintroduce a bipartisan plan to better support sexual assault survivors and bring their abusers to justice. The bills have been discussed each legislative session since the Nassar investigation concluded but have not yet made it all the way through the process to get signed into law.
The legislation would improve standards related to retention of medical records and sentencing guidelines and provide more consequences for those who break the law.
Each part of the six-bill package addresses a critical failing in our state’s systems that allowed this decades-long travesty to unfold. House Bills 4120-25 would:
- Ensure comprehensive training materials are provided to individuals who are mandated to report child abuse and neglect.
- Require a disciplinary hearing for a licensed medical professional when they are convicted of sexual misconduct under the pretext of practicing medicine.
- Require the permanent loss of a medical license for anyone convicted of sexual misconduct under pretext of medical treatment.
- Prohibits someone from using their professional position of authority over another person to prevent that person from reporting criminal sexual conduct or child abuse. Breaking this law would result in a misdemeanor with a 1-year sentence and/or $1,000 fine.
- Prohibits using a position of authority to prevent someone from reporting crime to a Title IX coordinator at a post-secondary educational institution.
- Prohibit schools from expelling or suspending a student who reports being a victim of sexual assault.
I co-sponsored each of these bills, which have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by calling (517) 373-3906 or emailing [email protected]. I am always happy to hear from people in our community.
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