Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) together with Senator Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 2078 today, which will further strengthen California's laws against rape.
This legislation is in direct response to the 2010 case in Shasta County, when Former Anderson police officer Bryan Benson accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in his custody, was given a 1-year plea bargain and was not required to register as a sex offender. The Shasta County District Attorney's office claimed they were unable to fully prosecute Benson because of a perceived "loophole" in the current Penal Code.
"This bill will strengthen the law to ensure that those who are transporting a suspect under the color of authority of their office, and who commit a crime against that suspect, such as rape, can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," said Nielsen. "No one should be able to abuse their authority and avoid prosecution."
"I am co-authoring this bill so that the public would have trust that the law applies equally to all those suspected of a crime," said LaMalfa. "We have a duty to make sure the laws are written clearly to prevent future misinterpretations."
The bill will be referred to a policy committee next month and will most likely have its first hearing in April.