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HJ 595 Child sexual abuse, alleged; VSCC to study laws and policies governing investigation.
SUMMARY AS PASSED HOUSE: (all summaries)
Study; laws and policies governing the investigation of alleged child sexual abuse in the Commonwealth; report. Directs the Virginia State Crime Commission to determine (i) the availability of penalties for sexual conduct between secondary school students 18 years of age and older and teachers; (ii) the reasons why sexual conduct between teachers or other school personnel who maintain a custodial or supervisory relationship over students under the age of 18 is subject to criminal penalties while the same conduct with students 18 years of age or older is not; (iii) the feasibility of penalizing sexual conduct between teachers or other school personnel and students age 18 or older; (iv) the number of cases involving sexual conduct between teachers or other school personnel and students 18 years of age or older each year; (v) laws, regulations, policies, and training practices of the Commonwealth and its agencies governing reporting, investigation, and tracking of complaints of suspected child abuse, including suspected sexual abuse of a child and including such laws, regulations, policies, and training practices of or governing the Department of Social Services, local departments of social services, law-enforcement agencies, schools, and child welfare agencies; (vi) variations or discrepancies in how the various agencies receive, investigate, and track alleged cases of child sexual abuse, particularly those variations or discrepancies that may create opportunities for individuals who are alleged to have committed child sexual abuse and who are the subjects of investigations to destroy evidence, intimidate victims, or otherwise interfere with the conduct of such investigation; and (vii) recommendations for legislative, regulatory, and budgetary changes to reduce or eliminate variations or discrepancies in how the various agencies receive, investigate, and track alleged cases of child sexual abuse in order to increase the quality and effectiveness of child protective services, investigations of alleged child sexual abuse, and prosecutions of individuals alleged to have committed child sexual abuse in the Commonwealth. The Commission is authorized to establish a multi-disciplinary work group to assist in its work. This resolution incorporates HJ 730.