Legislative Coverage

Law Would Shrink Age Gap in Statutory Rape Cases

(KCPW News) Legislation that would narrow the age gap for adults and teenagers in statutory rape cases made its way out of the Utah House Monday and had its first reading on the Senate floor on Tuesday. Currently, state law prohibits sexual contact between minors who are 16 or 17 years of age, and anyone 10 years their senior. But Republican Representative Richard Greenwood thinks that gap is too large.

“House Bill 10 takes on sexual offenses against minors in the age of 16 and 17 years of age. Under existing code there is a window of 10 years,” Greenwood said. “What my bill does is take that window down to seven years.”

Greenwood said that current law means that experienced adults can exert power over minors.

“For example, an individual has had all this experience in life – such as 4 years of college or 4 years of military [service],” Greenwood said. “As a result, they can exercise power over these young people.”

House Bill 10 was approved on a 64-4 vote and was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday.

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