Hogan proposal targets sex crime prosecution | WYPR

Hogan proposal targets sex crime prosecution

Jan 13, 2017

Gov. Larry Hogan (right) announces a package of legislation aimed at assisting crime victims and their families.
Credit Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday a series of measures aimed at assisting crime victims and their families.

One of the proposals would allow prosecutors of sex crimes to use as evidence a suspect’s previous sexual assault convictions.

“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 at an afternoon press conference.

Baltimore County Sen. Jim Brochin said he has repeatedly introduced versions of that bill for the last 13 years, but it always failed in the House.

He said he continues to be motivated by the 2009 murder of 11-year-old Sarah Foxwell on the Eastern Shore by a convicted sex offender.

“If you speak to the State’s Attorney of Baltimore City, there are dozens of cases today in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County and other places, where sex offenders are getting out, and they’ve done it, and their past victims can’t even say, ‘It happened to me,’” he said.

This year’s version is narrower than in previous years, to help it pass, Brochin said.

Another measure announced Thursday would make drunken driving a felony for anyone with three or more prior drunken driving convictions.

Hogan also proposed $5 million to help victims of crimes such as domestic abuse and sexual assault get new, temporary housing, and he introduced legislation that would classify sex trafficking as a form of sexual abuse, which he said would make it easier for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those crimes.