Audrie's Law Wins Assembly's Bipartisan Approval
SACRAMENTO – Audrie’s Law, legislation by Senator Jim Beall to reform juvenile sex assault laws, was passed on a 72-0 floor vote in the Assembly today. Senate Bill 838 now returns to the Senate for concurrence.
“This is a key step toward balancing the scales of justice for victims of sex assault,’’ Beall said. “Audrie’s Law directs juveniles into strict, no-nonsense treatment programs to prevent them from re-offending and it stops the practice of dropping charges in lieu of community service.’’
The bill calls for:
• Juvenile cases prosecuted under Audrie’s Law to be open to the public.
• Juvenile sex offenders must undergo mandatory rehabilitative treatment and counseling, which is not a requirement under existing law.
• Juveniles convicted of rape, sodomy, or oral copulation will not have the option of paying a fine or participating in community service or a treatment program in order for charges to be dismissed.
Audrie’s Law was generated by the family of Audrie Pott, a Saratoga High student who committed suicide after she was sexually assaulted while unconscious by three boys. The 15-year-old girl was further tormented when they electronically shared photos of the crime. The boys, who were not identified because of their age, were given sentences that ranged from 30 to 45 days by a juvenile court judge.
Audrie’s mother, Sheila Pott, who was at the State Capitol for the Assembly vote, was pleased with the resounding approval of the bill.
“We are completely thrilled and excited to get a unanimous vote for approval of SB 838, Audrie’s Law,’’ she said. “We couldn’t be happier with this. We couldn’t be more appreciative of Sen. Beall and his staff and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office in getting us to this point. We are truly grateful.’’