Texas Senate OKs Changes In Sex Offender Prosecution

AUSTIN (March 26, 2013)—A measure that won approval Tuesday in the Texas Senate would give prosecutors new tools in cases of sexual assault against children.

Under the bill the Senate approved Tuesday, evidence of prior similar offenses would become admissible in court.

Current rules allow prosecutors to introduce only evidence of prior assaults against the same victim.

The new rules would allow evidence of prior attacks on other victims, but would apply only when the victim is younger than 17.

State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, said her bill would align state rules with policies used in federal court.

Huffman is a former judge in felony criminal cases.

State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, noted that the new rules would still leave some discretion to judges.

He has served as a prosecutor and defense lawyer.


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