Legislative Alert!   
Support HB301 -

Evidence of Sexually Assaultive Behavior - Admissibility (Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act of 2018)

HB301 is one of the bills on our 2018 Agenda  and will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee today, January 30th.  Please take action as described.  We have included the emails for the committee members at the bottom of the email for your convenience.

House Bill 301 -Evidence of Sexually Assaultive Behavior - Admissibility (Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act of 2018) c loses dangerous loopholes by permitting the judge to  admit evidence of other sexual misconduct without risking wrongful convictions. This legislation  requires a judge to review the evidence and rule on its applicability BEFORE it can ever be used in trial.

Serial rape is a real phenomenon. Forensic psychologist David Lisak found a high rate of repeat sexual offenses among a small number of men. In a study where 120 men admitted to committing a sexual  assault, they averaged about five victims per offender. Maryland law has, to some extent, recognized that sexual offenders may continue to re-offend. For this reason, Maryland adopted public sex offender registries to ensure greater supervision of sexually violent predators. But this important public protection only comes after a conviction for a sex offense.

In Maryland, serial predators are able to hide evidence of a serial pattern of rape from juries.  Therefore, decisions to find defendants not guilty come from a jury of 12 people who were never  given all of the relevant evidence. Thirty-seven other states and the federal courts ALLOW this  evidence to be considered after proper judicial review.

In Maryland, defendants can explain away DNA evidence of rape by claiming that the sex was  consensual and calling into question the credibility of the victim, but the prosecutor is prohibited from introducing evidence from other victims to overcome this argument.
We strongly urge you to contact members of the House Judiciary Committee to register your support for HB301.
Email addresses for the Judicary Committee members (cut and paste into your email application):

The Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW) is a statewide coalition of women's groups and individuals formed to provide a non-partisan, independent, voice for Maryland women and families. The group advocates for progressive legislation and policy that promotes and protects the well being of Maryland women and their families and provides them opportunities to develop their full potential. 
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Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women
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Towson, Maryland 21204