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S. Monique Smith Support Safe Harbor Speech March 2023

S. Monique Smith Support Safe Harbor Speech March 2023

This description is from the official Facebook page for the Frederick County State's Attorney: This afternoon in Annapolis, the State's Attorneys for Frederick, Montgomery, Howard, and Prince George's Counties held a joint press conference to urge the Maryland General Assembly to pass multiple bills. Principal speakers at the press conference included Howard County State’s Attorney Richard Gibson Jr. (president of the Maryland State’s Attorneys’ Association); Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith (president-elect of the National District Attorney’s Association); Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy. The State’s Attorneys were also joined by Turn Around Inc. and several advocacy groups and victims of related crimes. The press conference specifically discussed the following two pieces of legislation: 1. House Bill 226/Senate Bill 21: Criminal Law - Person in a Position of Authority - Sexual Offenses With a Minor. This bill would strengthen the prosecution of child sex abuse by expanding the definition of “Person in Position of Authority” to coaches, counselors, and teachers outside the school system that utilize their position to victimize children. 2. House Bill 297/Senate Bill 292: Criminal Law – Victims of Child Sex Trafficking and Human Trafficking – Safe Harbor and Service Response. This bill would ensure that child trafficking victims are not prosecuted for their own victimization and instead are referred to proper services through the Regional Navigator Program. On February 24, 2023, the Safe Harbor bill was voted favorably out of the House of Delegates. Currently, it remains in Judicial Proceedings on the Senate side where no action has been taken. The Person in a Position of Authority bill passed out of the House of Delegates on March 9, 2023. Currently, a hearing has not been scheduled by Judicial Proceedings.

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