Protecting Care Dependent Residents

A bill designed to help protect care dependent Pennsylvanians from sexual assault has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 704, if passed, would close a loophole that allows caregivers that sexually assault their dependents to falsely claim consent. This bill would create the similar institutional sexual assault rules used in prisons, schools, with law enforcement, and in other environments with an inherent power imbalance that makes consent impossible. In discussing the bill Senator Lisa Baker, representative from the 20th District which includes Wayne and Pike Counties, said “People in various positions of responsibility are frustrated because the insufficiency of state law does not allow them to effectively protect the individuals in their care.” Senator Baker also chairs the Judiciary Committee and introduced the bill along with Senator Scott Martin.