Bills to Strengthen Victims’ Rights, Protect Children Pass House

HARRISBURG—Legislation Rep Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) co-sponsored to strengthen the rights of crime victims has passed the House.

House Bill 492 would allow victims and their families to appear in person before the state Board of Probation and Parole during the parole process of an inmate.

“Our law books are filled with laws to protect defendant’s rights,” Stephens said.  “This bill ensures that victims’ voices are heard and considered before any parole action is taken.”

The bill now moves to the Senate.

In a move to protect the state’s children, the House voted to crack down on sexual predators who use the Internet to exploit children.

House Bill 90, which passed the House, would permit state prosecutors to use administrative subpoenas - just as federal prosecutors do - to gather pertinent information from internet service providers about suspected predators searching online for children. The types of information subject to subpoena would be limited to a suspect’s name, address, telephone or instrument number, and network addresses.

 “If I had this authority when I was prosecuting child sexual abuse cases, our detectives would have been able to move faster to protect children,” Stephens said.

Stephens also joined his colleagues on the House Children and Youth Committee to pass House Bill 429 to protect people from employment discrimination if they, in good faith, report suspected child abuse.

“Right now, that protection from discrimination is limited to certain professions,” Stephens said.  “This legislation broadens those protections to better protect those reporting that a child is being abused.”

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
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