The Ohio House today voted to expand sexual misconduct protections by extending the penalties for certain acts of sexual misconduct, including pandering nudity-oriented or sexually obscene materials, to apply for instances when victims are elderly or mentally disabled.
House Bill 68, sponsored by State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills), stipulates that offenders partaking in certain acts of sexual misconduct that victimize an elderly or mentally disabled individual can face similar penalties as those that apply to instances involving a minor.
“I am very thankful for the support from my fellow legislators in helping to pass Substitute House Bill 68,” said Rep. Anielski. “The state legislature is one step closer to giving impaired people across the state important and considerable legal protections, regardless of their age.”
The legislation is in response to an issue in Cuyahoga County where an offender was caught taking photos of victims in a health care facility who suffered from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other developmental disabilities. The victims and their families were unable to receive justice because current Ohio law only applies to children.
House Bill 68 passed with bipartisan support and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.