INDIANAPOLIS – An initiative authored by State Senator John Broden (D-South Bend) to toughen penalties against child molesters cleared a Senate panel on Tuesday. The bill, known as “Cameron’s Law,” passed the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law unanimously.

“Today’s hearing is a strong first step toward providing more protection for victims of child molestation,” said Broden. “It’s our hope that this proposal can work to stop the kind of unimaginable pain victims like Cameron suffer.”

The bill was drafted after a constituent of Broden’s approached the senator. The constituent’s grandson, identified only as Cameron, had been molested as a child and as a result of the assault, contracted a sexually transmitted disease.

Legislation initiated by Sen. Broden would enhance the penalty from a Level 3 to Level 2 felony for child molestation that results in the victim contracting a “dangerous sexually transmitted disease (STD).” Senate Bill (SB) 363 defines those STDs as: the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); herpes; gonorrhea; syphilis; chlamydia or hepatitis. A Level 2 Felony carries a sentence of between 10 and 30 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The bill now moves to full Senate where any member can amend the proposal.

Sen. Broden represents Senate District 10, which includes the cities of South Bend and Mishawaka, and portions of Portage, Penn, Centre and Clay townships in St. Joseph County. For more information on Sen. Broden, visit www.IN.gov/s10.

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