INDIANAPOLIS – On Wednesday, State Senator John Broden (D-South Bend) filed a proposal to strengthen penalties against offenders convicted of child molestation. The initiative enhances the penalty for sex crimes against children that result in the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease.

“Any act against a child is unconscionable, but cases where victims are left with both emotional and physical trauma are especially troubling,” said Sen. Broden. “By upping the penalty against those that commit these heinous acts, we are standing up for victims.”

Legislation initiated by Sen. Broden would enhance the penalty from a Level 3 to Level 1 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 1 Felony carries a sentence of between 20 and 40 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

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