Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein
Minnesota House of Representatives
District 41B 651-296-4331 – Rep.Mary.KuneshPodein@house.mn
445 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Claire Lancaster 651-296-9873 or Claire.Lancaster@house.mn
January 30, 2019
RELEASE: “Buttocks Bill” Receives First Public Hearing
ST. PAUL – Today, legislation improving the definition of criminal sexual conduct to include non-consensual, intentional touching of another person’s clothed buttocks received its first hearing and was passed by the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform committee.
“I realized that someone who is groped or harassed in this way has no legal protection when a constituent of mine came to me. She was told there was nothing she could do after an assault in which she was publicly groped on the buttocks by a man at her gym.,” said chief-author Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein. “The trauma of sexual harassment transcends gender, class and political ideology. I am glad to have support from both sides of the aisle in closing this loophole.”
The #MeToo movement has created a bipartisan push for a better definition of sexual misconduct. The bill (H.F.74) will expand the definition of criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree, which currently excludes intentional touching of clothed buttocks.
A companion bill, authored by Sen. John Marty, has been approved by the Senate Judiciary committee with Republican support.
A similar bill passed both the House and the Senate in 2018 but was not signed into law.