HARRISBURG – Legislation to protect older Pennsylvanians, authored by Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso (R- Allegheny/Westmoreland), passed the House today.
House Bill 975
would extend the protections of the institutional sexual assault statute to cover elders and other care-dependent persons who are assaulted by those who have the responsibility of providing care. “I believe we must prioritize protecting our most vulnerable citizens,” said Lewis DelRosso. “We trust the leaders of our families, communities and organizations to be taken care of and respected. We must ensure that is happening.”
Current law gives extra protections to students, inmates, dependent children and others who are most vulnerable because of the institutional setting in which they find themselves. This new offense would be triggered when a caretaker engages in sexual intercourse or indecent contact with a care-dependent person who receives care in or from a facility. It will not criminalize consensual sexual relations between spouses or other intimate partners.
“June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month and I am thrilled we were able to move this legislation so quickly,” Lewis DelRosso continued. “Those who use their positions to take advantage of those that can’t defend themselves must be held accountable.”
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso
33rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Michelle Swab