August 30, 2011, 17:50K.C.
Decriminalizing Sex between a 15 year old and an adult
I was out with one of my officers today, and was asked what I knew about the aforementioned topic. The way the officer explained it the definition of child had changed for sex offenses to not include victims 15 or older.
First I had heard of something like this, so I asked him where he had heard this, and he stated from the TCLEOSE 2011 Legislative Update Power Point 3182 (http://www.tcleose.state.tx.us/content/training_instructor_resources.cfm
I have now looked at what he was referring to this apparently comes from Slide 36 of that presentation:
"Romeo and Juliet Bill
Decriminalizes consensual sex between a young adult and someone 15 or older.
Changes the definition of a child from a person younger than 17 years of age to a person younger than 15 years of age."
I have looked and I can find no change that was made this session to the definition of child under 22.011(c), let alone any change to that section at all.
As this reads, if an officer were to rely on this, he would believe that you would not have a sexual assault if the victim was 15 or older no matter what the age of the actor was.
Does anyone know if I am missing something, or is this a misunderstanding from some other amended section?
August 31, 2011, 10:46Robert S. DuBoise
I think the "Romeo and Juliet" exception was HB 545. It was never passed by the legislature.
It would have provided:
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 21.11(b), Penal Code, is amended to read as follows:
(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor:
(1) was [not more than three years older than the victim and] of the opposite sex and not more than three years older than the victim, or not more than five years older if both the actor and victim were enrolled in a public or private school in grade level nine or above at the time of the offense;
(2) did not use duress, force, or a threat against the victim at the time of the offense; and
(3) at the time of the offense:
(A) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or
(B) was not a person who under Chapter 62 had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section.
SECTION 2. Section 22.011(e), Penal Code, is amended to read as follows:
(e) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2):
(1) that the actor was the spouse of the child at the time of the offense; or
(A) the actor was not more than three years older than the victim, or not more than five years older if both the actor and victim were enrolled in a public or private school in grade level nine or above at the time of the offense, and at the time of the offense:
(i) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or
(ii) was not a person who under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section; and
(B) the victim:
(i) was a child of 14 years of age or older; and (ii) was not a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01.
SECTION 3. The change in law made by this Act applies only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act.
An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect at the time of the offense, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred before that date.
SECTION 4. This Act takes effect September 1, 2011.
2011 Texas House Bill No. 545 Eighty-Second Legislature
TEXAS BILL TRACKING
TITLE: Relating to an affirmative defense available to certain students who engage in sexual contact with another student at least 13 years of age.
SUMMARY: Relating to an affirmative defense available to certain students who engage in sexual contact with another student at least 13 years of age
01/07/2011 (H) FILED.
02/18/2011 (H) READ FIRST TIME.
02/18/2011 (H) REFERRED TO CRIMINAL JURISPRUDENCE.
03/01/2011 (H) SCHEDULED FOR PUBLIC HEARING ON . . .
03/01/2011 (H) CONSIDERED IN PUBLIC HEARING.
03/01/2011 (H) TESTIMONY TAKEN/REGISTRATION(S) RECORDED IN COMMITTEE.
03/01/2011 (H) LEFT PENDING IN COMMITTEE.
2011 TX H.B. 545 (NS)
[This message was edited by Robert S. DuBoise on 08-31-11 at .]
August 31, 2011, 11:35pkdyer
In the Legislative Update Book, at least part of 21.12 was passed under HB 1610 - educator in relationship with student not more than 3 yrs apart and the relationship began before the educator was employed at a school (an affirmative defense) Not sure if or how 22.011 might have been changed the book does show it was modified but did not go into detail of the modifications. It is listed under the Tables & charts section for punishment, so that may be the only change in it.
September 01, 2011, 11:06Shannon Edmonds
That information is wrong, wrong, wrong. No such change was made.
SB 198 did alter the age range for purposes of sex offender registration, but it did NOT affect anything in the Penal Code.
I'm not sure where they got that (bad) information, but it wasn't from us! For accurate information, get one of TDCAA's Legislative Updates.