Saturday, January 19, 2013

2013 Indiana Senate Bill 0053 Child Seduction by Mental Health Professionals - Legislation Part 3

When your child who is of the age of consent for sexual relations goes to school we still expect that he or she is not going to be engaged in sexual activity with school personnel. It would be a crime for those adults to engage our children in sexual activity even though an adult outside of the school could. It is such because school personnel are assumed to be able to exert some influence or control over our children that could be used to manipulate them into a sexual relationship in which they otherwise would not engage.

Senator Phil Boots has introduced SB0053 to add Mental Health Professionals [MHP] to the list of other persons to which the child seduction statute applies. Senate Bill 0053 affects the following citations : IC 35-31.5-2; IC 35-42-4-7. The synopsis is as follows:
Child seduction. Provides that the offense of child seduction, a Class D felony, includes a mental health professional engaging in certain sexual behavior with a patient who is at least 16 years of age but less than 18 years of age.

Currently child seduction applies to cases where an adult participates in sexual conduct with a person under the age of 16 years except in a few exceptions. Those exceptions include when the person may be over the age of 16 years but mentally incapacitated and when the older person is in a position of trust or supervisory capacity such as a custodian, step-parent, school employee or even a military recruiter.

Representative Boots should be supported in his effort to add to the list another category which was conspicuously absent from the original legislation – MHPs. Children, especially those of divorce, are more often engaged with MHPs. Because of the ability that MHPs have to influence and manipulate their subjects it is beneficial to the therapist-patient relationship that a level of surety be maintained that a child of consensual age not be put at risk of being unduly persuaded into a sexual relationship.

The bill passed out of the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee by a vote of 9-0.

If you are engaged in a child custody dispute and want to minimize the adverse effects on your child then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2008, 2013 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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