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Parents of Lizzi Marriott to speak at bill signing ceremony celebrating the passage of NH’s newly strengthened Rape Shield
(Concord, NH) On Wednesday, June 7th at 3:00 p.m., victim advocates will be gathering in the Executive Council Chambers at the State House to celebrate four significant victim protection bills being signed into law, including legislation that safeguards rape victims’ legal rights to privacy and enhances protections for child victims. “Rarely have we seen a year in which victims’ rights and protections have been so much at risk, and we are incredibly grateful to work with a Legislature that understands the importance of protecting the rights of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, NHCADSV Director of Public Affairs. “We are grateful to the Legislature and Governor Sununu for their leadership on behalf of crime victims in New Hampshire.”
The following bills will be signed at the ceremony:
This bill seeks to do two critical things. First: it will ensure that the private, unrelated sexual history of victims will remain sealed in all NH court proceedings, including on appeal. Second: it defines “sexual activity” for the purposes of rape shield. This is the most critical piece of the bill, as it will give judges guidance in application of rape shield protections, and will make clear what protections are afforded to victims in rape cases. This bill strikes a balance between protecting victims’ privacy while not infringing on defendants’ due process rights, and lays out a procedure for defense attorneys wishing to have a judge rule on evidence they wish to submit. This bill shall take effect 60 days after being signed by the Governor.
“We applaud the Legislature and Governor Sununu for prioritizing this critical issue brought to light before the Supreme Court in the case of Seth Mazzaglia. Moving forward, victims of sexual violence will not need to question whether or not the courts will protect their past, unrelated sexual history from being used against them in the courtroom,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, NHCADSV Director of Public Affairs.
“By shifting the burden of proof in these cases from the rape victim to their attacker, we are protecting victims and children from being re-traumatized by having to prove that the rapist shouldn’t have access to them and their children. This gives them back control over their lives and allows them to raise their children safely,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, NHCADSV Director of Public Affairs.
Further, this bill contains a clarifying amendment that a $50 fine shall be levied on all convictions under Joshua's Law—language that was originally passed in 2015. This bill shall take effect January 1, 2018.
“This bill will ensure that those soliciting sex from children are held accountable for their actions, and will allow the criminal justice system to more adequately protect at-risk children and youths,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, NHCADSV Director of Public Affairs.
“Children cannot consent to making pornography and shouldn’t be associated with an industry based on the selling of sex. These images are not pornography, they are evidence of sexual abuse, and we need to recognize this heinous crime for what it is,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, NHCADSV Director of Public Affairs.
For more information, please contact Amanda Grady Sexton at 603-548-9377 or email Amanda@nhcadsv.org
About the Coalition
NHCADSV is a statewide network of 13 independent member programs committed to ending sexual violence, domestic violence, and stalking, through direct services to victims, community education, and public policy advocacy. The NHCADSV and its 14 member programs do not discriminate based on gender, age, health status (including HIV-positive), physical, mental, or emotional ability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status, race, national origin, immigration status, or religious or political affiliation. For more information visit www.nhcadsv.org