Sexual assault bill closes a loophole for misconduct within law enforcement agencies

SEAFORD, Del. – Governor Carney just signed a bill that closes a loophole within sexual assault regulation. This means law enforcement and corrections officers can no longer use consent as a viable defense for their actions.

Seaford Police Department Cpl. Eric Chambers agrees with the new legislation. Chambers said, “It’s common sense.”

Local law enforcement officials believe officers have no business sexually abusing people in custody and legislators agree. Chambers said, “You’re a law enforcement officer. You’re here to protect people and to serve people. Not victimize people.”

Cases of sexual misconduct between law enforcement and people in custody reported across the country have prompted local law enforcement to remind the community that this behavior is unacceptable.

Chambers said, “Nobody is above the law whether you’re a police officer or anybody in the law enforcement community.”

Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 169, which passed unanimously and goes into effect Thursday, says that in Delaware sexual contact between law enforcement and persons in custody is now a felony.

While there have not been any reported cases in the First State that prompted the new regulation, by signing the bill, Governor Carney is not taking any chances.

Chambers said, “It’s a shame that there needs to be a law put out there to tell people you can’t do this.

Lynn Moss, a retired corrections employee said, “It’s pretty pathetic that it had to be signed into law because it should’ve been a no brainer.”

Moss says, in her experience, all to often she’s seen inmates treated unfairly. Moss said, “Its crazy. They’re still human beings. Police officers need respect, but they need to respect the individuals too.”

Moss said, “They’re still somebody’s mother, somebody’s brother, somebody’s sister, somebody’s father. They are human beings and need to be treated as such.”

Her husband, Clark has a message for officers who abuse their power. “They get abused, and they treat them like they’re dirt, that’s not right.”

Officials hope new regulations will put an end to sexual assault within law enforcement agencies and give a voice to the voiceless.

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