HB1656 (2020) Detail

Relative to an act granting immunity from prosecution for prostitution for reporting a sexual assault.


HB 1656-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

19Feb2020... 0333h

2020 SESSION

20-2409

04/05

 

HOUSE BILL 1656-FN

 

AN ACT relative to an act granting immunity from prosecution for prostitution for reporting a sexual assault.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Klein-Knight, Hills. 11; Rep. Herbert, Hills. 43; Rep. Bouchard, Hills. 11; Rep. R. Newman, Hills. 29; Rep. McNally, Straf. 10; Rep. Welch, Rock. 13; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. French, Dist 7

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

ANALYSIS

 

This bill provides immunity from prosecution for prostitution for a person reporting to law enforcement that such person or another person is the victim of a sexual assault.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19Feb2020... 0333h

20-2409

04/05

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT relative to an act granting immunity from prosecution for prostitution for reporting a sexual assault.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Legislative Intent.  It is the intent of the general court to encourage a victim of sexual assault as defined in RSA 632-A:2, 632-A:3, or 632-A:4 to report such crimes to law enforcement by establishing a state policy of protecting the victim from arrest, prosecution, and conviction for prostitution if they report such a crime.  The immunity from arrest, prosecution, or conviction shall extend to cases in which a victim has come forward to law enforcement and cooperated in an investigation.

2  New Paragraphs; Prostitution and Related Offenses; Immunity From Prosecution.  Amend RSA 645:2 by inserting after paragraph VI the following new paragraphs:

VII.  As used in this section, "reports being the victim of a sexual assault or other crime” means reporting the initial crime to law enforcement and assisting law enforcement to identify the alleged perpetrator.  It does not include further cooperation in prosecution.

VIII.  It shall be a defense to a violation of this section that a person reports being the victim of a sexual assault as defined in RSA 632-A:2, 632-A:3, or 632-A:4.  A person who reports being the victim of such an offense shall not be arrested, prosecuted, or convicted for a violation of this section if the evidence for the charge was gained as a proximate result of the person’s reporting.  Any victim seeking medical treatment following a sexual assault will be afforded all options of care outlined in the New Hampshire attorney general’s sexual assault medical forensic exam protocol without making a report to or cooperating with law enforcement.

IX.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the admissibility of evidence in connection with the investigation or prosecution of a crime involving a person who is not protected as provided in paragraph VIII.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the lawful seizure of any evidence or contraband.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or abridge the authority of a law enforcement officer to detain or place into custody a person as part of a criminal investigation who is not protected by the provisions of paragraph VIII.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2021.

 

LBAO

20-2409

12/12/19

 

HB 1656-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to an act granting immunity from prosecution for prostitution for reporting a sexual assault.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill provides immunity from prosecution for prostitution for a person reporting to law enforcement that such person or another person is the victim of a sexual assault.  This bill contains penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  There is no method to determine how many fewer charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

 

Judicial Branch

FY 2021

FY 2022

Violation Level Offense

$52

$54

Class B Misdemeanor

$54

$56

Class A Misdemeanor

$77

$79

Simple Criminal Case

$300

$314

Appeals

Varies

Varies

It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2021 and FY 2022 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.  An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.

 

Many offenses are prosecuted by local and county prosecutors.  When the Department of Justice has investigative and prosecutorial responsibility or is involved in an appeal, the Department would likely absorb the cost within its existing budget.  If the Department needs to prosecute significantly more cases or handle more appeals, then costs may increase by an indeterminable amount.  

 

The Judicial Council indicates, under current law, prostitution is charged as a misdemeanor unless there are aggravating factors, in which case it is charged as a class B felony.  The Council indicates it is unclear how many future prostitution cases would not be brought as a result of this bill.  The Council reports, that in the past 12 months, the Public Defender program has been assigned 29 prostitution cases.  Due to the small number of cases the Council does not expect that any reduction due to this bill would have a meaningful impact on indigent defense expenditures.

 

The New Hampshire Association of Counties indicates this bill would result in no discernable costs to the counties.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Department of Justice, Judicial Council, and New Hampshire Association of Counties

 

Links

HB1656 at GenCourtMobile
HB1656 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 16, 2020 House Hearing
Jan. 28, 2020 House Exec Session
Feb. 5, 2020 House Exec Session
Feb. 5, 2020 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
Feb. 19, 2020 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1656 Revision: 8168 Date: Feb. 19, 2020, 2:44 p.m.
HB1656 Revision: 7300 Date: Dec. 13, 2019, 11:04 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Jan. 16, 2020 Public Hearing: 01/16/2020 02:00 pm LOB 204
Jan. 28, 2020 ==RECESSED== Executive Session: 01/28/2020 10:00 am LOB 204
Feb. 5, 2020 Full Committee Work Session: 02/05/2020 10:00 am LOB 204
Feb. 5, 2020 ==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 02/05/2020 01:00 pm LOB 204
Feb. 19, 2020 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-0333h for 02/19/2020 (Vote 19-0; CC) HC 7 P. 5
Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-0333h (Vote 19-0; CC)
Feb. 19, 2020 Amendment # 2020-0333h: AA VV 02/19/2020
Feb. 19, 2020 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2020-0333h: MA VV 02/19/2020