Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/29/1995 02:30 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
             HB  74 ASSAULT BY ADULTS ON CHILDREN                             
                                                                              
 PATTY SWENSON, legislative aide to Representative Bunde, sponsor of           
 HB 74, gave the following testimony.  The impetus for HB 74 was an            
 attack on a 14 year old newspaper boy by three drunk, 20-year old             
 men who ran over the boy with his own snowmachine.  The men were              
 charged with a misdemeanor, and are likely to receive unsupervised            
 probation as their punishment.  HB 74 changes the offense of                  
 assault by a person over 18 on a minor between the ages of 10 and             
 16 to a class C felony.  The minor must receive physical injury               
 requiring medical treatment.  The standard of "knowingly" is used,            
 which calls for a higher mental state, and provides a defense for             
 persons who reasonably believed their victim was 16 years of age or           
 older.                                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked why the attackers were not prosecuted to the             
 fullest extent possible under existing law.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 360                                                                    
                                                                               
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, replied the physical                
 injury was the result of a punch, not the snowmobile, therefore the           
 crime was considered assault in the fourth degree.  The physical              
 injury must be serious, or a dangerous instrument must be used, to            
 be considered more than a misdemeanor.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 368                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if under HB 74, the same assault would be                
 classified as a class C felony, only because the bill specifies the           
 age differential.  He questioned if the attack was on a 16 year               
 old, the same misdemeanor classification would apply.                         
                                                                               
 MS. KNUTH repeated the crime is classified a misdemeanor assault if           
 serious physical harm is not caused, and if a dangerous instrument            
 is not used.                                                                  
                                                                               
 JULIE JENSEN-ZARR testified in support of HB 74 via teleconference            
 from Anchorage.  HB 74 has received widespread community support              
 and over 1500 petition signatures from Palmer to Homer because of             
 the assault on a South Anchorage boy.  [The remainder of Ms.                  
 Jensen-Zarr's testimony was indiscernible due to poor                         
 transmission.]                                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved CSHB 74 out of committee with individual                  
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.               

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