From Rep. Skyler Wheeler’s newsletter:
House File 659 protects children and victims’ rights by allowing minors who are prosecution witnesses to be deposed outside the presence of the alleged accuser. Oftentimes these children could be the victim of the defendant against whom they are expected to speak against. Placing a young person in the presence of their abuser could cause serious long-term trauma.
I filed this bill in response to the situation that occurred at the Sioux Center Christian School. I’m proud of the way the school and the area has responded to this issue and that justice has been served to the perpetrator. I am also glad to have gotten this bill passed to prevent further trauma to victims of child abuse. I want to thank Sioux County Attorney, Tom Kunstle, for his advice and guidance that helped me draft this bill. I also want to thank Representatives Steven Holt R-Dension and Ashley Hinson R-Marion with their help in passing the bill. The bill passed 96-0 in the Iowa House and will move to the Iowa Senate for consideration.