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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL)

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Release: “Buttocks Bill” Receives First Public Hearing

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein

PRESS RELEASE

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.

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