FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lance Gideon, Press Secretary
STATEHOUSE (March 15, 2023) — A bill authored by State Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) that would protect child victims passed the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously Tuesday.
Senate Bill 331 would build upon legislation Messmer authored in 2020 that required the presence of a prosecuting attorney during the deposition of child sex abuse victims.
Since the implementation of that legislation, however, defense attorneys have sidestepped the law by saying they are not deposing a child victim, but interviewing them.
SB 331 aims to close that loophole and give these victims the protections originally intended in Senate Enrolled Act 206.
"Senate Bill 331 would keep children from any undue harm when they are victims of sex abuse," Messmer said. "I am pleased to see the House support the bill unanimously."
SB 331 unanimously passed out of the Senate on Feb. 6. Because the bill was amended in the House, it will now return to the Senate for further consideration.
Legislative calendars, agendas, vote tallies, live streams and proposed legislation can be viewed online by visiting iga.in.gov.