Below is Rep. Mary Wolfe’s explanation for voting no on Senate File 562:
Just voted NO on a bill that says: if a college kid who got paid $20 to help a 17-year-old with her golf swing asks that 17-year-old out for dinner within 30 days of the golf lesson and kisses her good night, he’s committed aggravated misdemeanor sex abuse. 10 years on SOR.
How will that college kid know about this 30 day “cooling off” period? HE WILL NOT. How could he? It’s not intuitive. No one is gonna tell him because no one else is going to be aware of this ridiculous law.
So why do I care? If no one knows no one will be charged, right? So what’s the big deal just vote yes.
I care because it is a ridiculous law and whether or not anyone is charged we are criminalizing conduct that is not criminal and that definitely is not sexual abuse.
Also, people will be charged, but to be honest not rich or middle-class young men who look like my son.
But I also voted no because it’s horrible drafting and it’ll probably be held unconstitutional and IMO it is not fair to criminalize conduct that NO ONE would have reason to believe is criminal.
But – the bill also eliminated the statute of limitations for most sexual abuse offenses perpetrated against a child so now I also voted no on that, and that will be the focus of my opponent’s campaign ads.
Here’s the thing – we absolutely need to eliminate the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits against people who sexually abuse a child and the people/organizations complicit in allowing the abuse to continue for years or decades.
Locking up an old person who, 30 years ago, abused dozens of altar boys in multiple parishes is fine/appropriate, but it doesn’t address the damage done and/or hold accountable the powers that be who knowingly allowed the abuse to happen.
Sometimes the only way to effectuate substantive change is to hit people/institutions in their big fat wallets.
So that’s why I voted NO on Senate File SF562. Along with one other legislator who (surprise) is also a criminal defense attorney.