Governor

Maryland Gov. Announces Initiatives to Stop Rapists’ Parental Rights, Protect Crime Victims

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has announced a package of initiatives to help victims of rape, human trafficking, domestic violence and other crimes.

Hogan said Friday he is committed to working with legislators to pass a bill to enable rape victims who conceive a child to terminate the parental rights of the person who raped them. Legislative leaders have made the measure, titled the Rape Survivor - Family Protection Act, a priority this session.

“No rapist should be allowed to maintain their rights as a parent, and no victim should ever be forced to interact with their attacker,” Hogan said.

Another proposal would allow courts to admit evidence of a criminal defendant's prior history of sexual crimes or abuse, if he or she is prosecuted for subsequent sex offenses.

The governor also is proposing a bill strengthening an address confidentiality program for victims of domestic violence.

“The sad reality is that becoming a victim of a crime often shatters a person’s sense of security,” Hogan said. “It can feel as if his or her entire world has been turned upside down, and – much too often – it can leave wounds that are unseen and which sometimes never truly or fully heal."

Another bill, the Felony Human Trafficking Act of 2018, would classify felony human trafficking as a violent crime. The classification would ensure that offenders serve more time in prison, according to Hogan's administration.

He also called on lawmakers to sustain his veto of legislation prohibiting colleges from using an admissions application with questions about a prospective student's prior criminal history.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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