Senate Bill 206 passes, ensuring more protection for victims of child sex crimes

Indiana State Capitol by Massimo Catarinella
Indiana State Capitol by Massimo Catarinella

In early January of 2020, Indiana took a monumental step forward in fighting child abuse with the passing of Senate Bill 206.

S.B. 206 will help ensure more protection for victims of child sex crimes by restricting the number of depositions that a child must undergo as the court process for their case rolls on.

The bill states that any child under the age of 16 is able to have their attorney be used as a safeguard from anyone that wants to question the victim.

If another party wishes to depose the victim of a child sex crime, they must first gain permission from the prosecuting attorney before doing so.

It also leaves control in the hands of the court. They now have the power to permit or decline either the prosecutor or defendant attorney from deposing the child.

The deposition is only justified if the victim won’t be able to attend their court date. The deposition is then useful to gain their testimony for the trial process.

The bill also helps further protect children by requiring that orders authorizing the deposition of a child must “expressly prohibit the presence of the person accused of committing the offense against the child unless certain conditions apply and the presence of the accused is necessary to preserve the person’s rights under the United States or Indiana constitution.”

Senate Bill 206 is a terrific step in the right direction for everyone who’s involved. We would like to thank everyone who made the bill possible, in particular, Sen. Mark Messmer for his support.

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INCACS

Indiana Chapter of National Children's Alliance

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