Bill Sets Single Trial For Sexual Abuse Victims

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Tennessee General Assembly has passed a bill that reduces the number of times sexual abuse victims must testify in court. Under the new “Child Protection Act,” a person accused of sexually abusing a child multiple times will receive a single trial, allowing a victimized child to testify only once in court. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, and Senator Ken Yager, R-Harriman. 

“Under previous law, children who were victims of repeated sexual abuse had to endure numerous trials and re-live the abuse on the witness stand,” said Rep. Dean. “Sexual offenders must face justice but not at the expense of our children’s peace of mind. The Child Protection Act ends the trial process as quickly as possible for our children, allowing them to move forward with their lives.”

If a person is accused of sexually abusing a child three or more times within a 90-day period, the new legislation will merge these offenses into a single trial. The same rule applies for a person accused of at least five incidents of sexual abuse involving two or more victims within a 90-day period. The bill also indicates a defendant will be given a single trial regardless of whether the counts of sexual abuse occur in separate counties.

By reducing the number of trials of sexual offenders in the state, the Child Protection Act will also yield a significant cost-savings to the public, Rep. Dean said.

He said he has been working on the bill for nearly three years alongside the District Attorney’s Conference and the Tennessee Bar Association. He issued a special thank you to Hamilton County District Attorney Bill Cox who he indicated played an instrumental role in getting the legislation drafted and approved. 

“It has been an honor to join forces with Rep. Vince Dean in making legislation that further protects the victims of these heinous crimes,” said District Attorney Bill Cox. “The Child Protection Act will not only save money for the public, but it will significantly reduce the emotional strain on the victims and their families.”

The bill cleared both the House and Senate with a unanimous vote. It is now on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. 

“This law is a good example of how the legislative and judicial systems can work hand-in-hand for our community’s security,” said Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland, chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee.“ Both legislators and court officials alike have expressed how vital this added protection is, and we are deeply grateful to all sides for joining together to better shield the children in our state.”


Top Hamilton County Salaries

Here are the top salaries for Hamilton County: METCALFE, JAMES K $186,174.72 COGSWELL, STEVEN C $175,953.43 BALES, DAVID E $170,520.00 PHILYAW, ROBERT D $170,520.00 ... (click for more)

Top City Of Chattanooga Salaries

Here are the top salaries for the city of Chattanooga: Bean, Russell J       City Judge        $170,537.41 Paty, Sherry B City Judge        $170,537.41 Berke, Andrew L.        Mayor  $154,781.15 Fletcher, Frederick Allen Police ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (4)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Story You Won’t See

In a puzzling time when the big daily newspapers have veered strongly away from “all the news that is fit to print,” allow me to share a story that you very likely will not see on CNN, ABC News, or in the big media conglomerates that influence the way you think, the way you react and – as a result – easily warp our common senses. This story is very true. Late last Sunday afternoon, ... (click for more)

Travis Hale New Softball Coach At Soddy-Daisy

(Story will be updated)  Travis Hale, who spent one year under being groomed for the job, has been named the new softball coach at Soddy-Daisy High School. Hale, who previously was an assistant coach at Hixson and head coach at Loftis Middle School, worked as an assistant under Wes Skiles for the entire 2016 season. In a May 9 during the District 5-3A tournament ... (click for more)

Pensacola Pins Lookouts With 3-0 Shutout Wednesday

PENSACOLA, Fla. -   In his Blue Wahoos Stadium debut, the 21-year-old Tyler Mahle showed he belongs here by throwing five scoreless innings, striking out eight, including four in a row, and pitching his way out of two bases-loaded jams. His poise helped Pensacola win the opener of the five game series against Chattanooga, shutting them out, 3-0, in front of the Blue Wahoos ... (click for more)