Cory Booker Intros Bill to Ban Sex Between Law Enforcement and Anyone in their Custody
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on Thursday introduced legislation to ban federal law enforcement officers from claiming consent as a defense when accused of sexually assaulting someone in their custody. The bill, dubbed the Closing Law Enforcement Consent Loophole Act, was sparked by a BuzzFeed News report earlier this year about an 18-year-old woman who said she was raped by two NYPD detectives in 2017 while handcuffed in their custody. Federal law prohibits sexual contact between corrections employees and those in federal custody. However, there is no law that broadly prohibits federal law enforcement officers from claiming consent. The Closing Law Enforcement Consent Loophole Act would make it illegal for federal law enforcement officers -- such as federal agents, probation officers, judges, and prosecutors -- to engage in a sexual act with anyone in his or her custody or while exercising their authority under color of law, regardless of consent. The bill would also create additional grant funding to states that adopt laws closing this loophole at the state level, and compel states to report complaints of sexual misconduct brought against officers to the Attorney General on an annual basis. “Federal agents and law enforcement officers hold positions of public trust and are expected to serve and protect,” Booker said. “Those who abuse their power and this mission by sexually assaulting those in their custody shouldn’t be shielded from accountability because of a loophole in federal law.” More here.