Huffman’s Bill to Aid Prosecution of Child Sex Assault Cases Passes Senate
State Sen. Joan Huffman’s Senate Bill 12 has unanimously passed the full Senate and now heads to the House for consideration. SB 12 allows evidence of prior similar sexual offenses against children to be introduced in cases of sexual assault of children, as well as other offenses such as indecency with a child, online solicitation of a minor, sex trafficking of a child, and possession or promotion of child pornography. In addition, the bill provides procedural safeguards which protect the accused’s constitutional rights.
“I am proud that the Senate unanimously passed this legislation, which will give prosecutors additional tools to use in child sexual assault cases,” Huffman said. “The Senate made a resounding statement that we are serious in Texas about protecting children, who are among our most vulnerable citizens. It is my belief that justice is better served when we seek the ultimate truth of guilt or innocence, and that should include all relevant evidence.”
Huffman said her bill provides overall greater protection to children who are victims of sexual offenses. So far, 11 states have passed legislation similar to SB 12.
Huffman represents District 17, which comprises Brazoria, Fort Bend and Harris counties. Huffman currently serves as chairwoman of the Texas Senate Republican Caucus and as vice chairwoman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. She is a member of the Finance, State Affairs, and Health and Human Services Committees, as well as the Sunset Advisory Commission.