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Bauer bill to close loophole in child seduction statute passes out of committee

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A bill authored by Rep. Maureen Bauer (D-South Bend) to better prosecute acts of child seduction committed by coaches passed out of the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code by a vote of 11-0.

House Bill 1228 would add acts of child seduction committed by coaches in youth sports organizations, such as athletic clubs and travel leagues, into the current child seduction criminal statute. The current child seduction statute applies to childcare workers who are employed by school corporations, charter schools, nonpublic schools or special education cooperatives, and who are in a position of trust or power over a child.

“All coaches provide care, supervision or instruction to a child within the scope of a professional relationship,” Bauer said. “Whether they are working with children on a school athletic team or through club or travel leagues, they all hold a position of trust and authority over their players that should never be abused. The current Indiana Code penalizes school coaches for the crime of child seduction and omits coaches in a non-school, youth sports organization setting in certain instances. This change to current law will ensure all youth athletes receive the same protections, no matter where they choose to play.”

The bill now moves to the House floor for further consideration.

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