ASSEMBLY PANEL APPROVES HANDLIN BILL PROTECTING RAPE VICTIMS DURING CIVIL CASES

The Assembly Judiciary Committee approved bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Amy H. Handlin that would shield a rape or harassment victim’s sexual history during civil trials. “A victim’s personal history is private and has no place in the courtroom,” Handlin, R-Monmouth, said. “Airing personal matters that have no bearing on the trial often vilifies the victim and protects the perpetrator. Society supports tilting the scales of justice the other way.” The legislation, A-101, would extend similar protections to victims in New Jersey that have existed in criminal cases for more than 30 years. The General Assembly approved similar legislation in 2010, but it did not advance in the Senate. “Allowing defense attorneys to dig into a victim’s sexual history can be another form of assault and harassment,” Handlin said. “The public supports protecting sexual assault victims. New Jersey can be a leader by extending these protections to civil cases.” ####

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