State Rep. Kate Cloonen is proposing new legislation that would protect victims of sexual violence during criminal proceedings against their alleged attackers.
The Bradley Democrat said, "Survivors of these appalling crimes should not be subjected to a face-to-face line of questioning by their abuser, which what happens when the alleged abusers choose to represent themselves in court and are free to cross-examine their victims."
Cloonen adds, "Sexual abuse crimes are grossly underreported, in large part because of victims' fear of their attackers. I believe that this legislation will make it easier for victims to come forward without fear of becoming victimized again in the criminal justice system."
House Bill 5587, which was filed by Cloonen, stipulates that in cases of sexual violence a defendant representing themselves in court shall use a court appointed attorney for the cross-examination of the alleged victim. HB 5587 is currently pending before the Rules Committee.