Hogan Proposes Anti-crime Bills Tackling Drunken Driving, Sexual Assault

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan introduced Thursday an anti-crime package designed to prosecute drunken and drugged drivers and legislation to assist victims of sexual abuse.

The proposal would also change what kind of evidence prosecutors can introduce in cases against sex offenders.

With survivors of crime victims by his side in the Statehouse, Hogan introduced the “Justice for Victims Initiative.” The bill would allow prosecutors to admit evidence of a defendant’s prior record of sexual assaults.

The bill builds on legislative efforts by Sen. James Brochin who fought for similar proposals, Hogan said.

“We all know that sexual predators follow patterns of behavior and that a single victim is often not the perpetrator’s only victim,” Hogan said.

Hogan cited the case of Sarah Foxwell, an 11-year-old Maryland girl who was kidnapped and killed by a convicted sex offender in 2009. “This predator should have been behind bars and taken off the streets long before Sarah ever became a victim,” Hogan said Thursday.

With the parents of Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta beside him, Hogan also introduced the “Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Act.”

The legislation would result in a felony offense for anyone convicted of drunken or drugged driving offenses on more than three occasions, Hogan said. Leotta was killed in December 2015 after being hit by a drunken driver while he was on patrol and had just pulled over another driver.

Another part of the governor’s anti-crime package would allow local social services departments to assist children in cases of sex trafficking. Under current law, in order for law enforcement to get involved in child sexual abuse, local social services agencies must be able to determine that the alleged suspect is a parent, family or household member, Hogan said.

Hogan’s legislation would allow for intervention no matter what the relationship between the child and the alleged perpetrator.

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