Calif. lawmakers OK lowering statutory rape reporting requirements
By Greg Burt/CFC
Sacramento, Calif. — The California State Senate approved a bill on Friday to lower the reporting requirements for some cases of statutory rape, authored by a Democratic Assemblywoman who was reprimanded for accusations of sexual harassment.
All ten Republicans voted no on AB 1145, which was sponsored by the LGBTQ advocacy group Equality California. It would change the reporting requirements for mandated reporters if the perpetrator is younger than 21, the minor victim is 16 or older, and the sexual activity is consensual.
Should it become law, high school teachers or counselors who know one of their 16-year-old students or counselees is having sex with a 20-year-old would no longer be required to report it to authorities.
The bill is especially concerning in light of how many LGBT organizations are sponsoring social events between young teenagers and young adults. See these fliers for examples of the wide disparity in ages promoted at such events.
In 2018, the bill’s author, Cristina Garcia (D – Downey), made headlines after being investigated for accusations of sexual harassment against male Capitol staffers.
“Despite the decision that the most egregious allegations could not be substantiated, it is clear that Assemblymember Garcia has engaged in a pattern of behavior that must be addressed,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said at the time.
After a temporary absence from the Assembly, Garcia, an outspoken leader of the #MeToo movement, was required to attend sexual harassment and sensitivity training.