Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/08/2019 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 35 CRIMES;SEX CRIMES;SENTENCING; PAROLE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 35(JUD) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ SJR 5 CONST. AM.:PERMANENT FUND & DIVIDEND TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
           SB 35-CRIMES;SEX CRIMES;SENTENCING; PAROLE                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:35:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
SENATE BILL NO. 35, "An Act  eliminating marriage as a defense to                                                               
certain crimes  of sexual  assault; relating  to enticement  of a                                                               
minor; relating  to harassment in  the first degree;  relating to                                                               
harassment in the second degree;  relating to indecent viewing or                                                               
production of  a picture; relating  to the definition  of 'sexual                                                               
contact'; relating to  assault in the second  degree; relating to                                                               
sentencing;  relating  to  prior  convictions;  relating  to  the                                                               
definition of  'most serious felony'; relating  to the definition                                                               
of 'sexual  felony'; relating to  the duty  of a sex  offender or                                                               
child  kidnapper   to  register;  relating  to   eligibility  for                                                               
discretionary parole; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES  remarked  that  she  hoped  to  move  SB  35  from                                                               
committee today.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:37:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD asked  whether Mr. Duxbury was  familiar with SB                                                               
35, Version K.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL   DUXBURY,    Deputy   Commissioner,   Office    of   the                                                               
Commissioner, Department of Public  Safety (DPS), Anchorage, said                                                               
he did  not have  Version K  before him.  He said  that he  is in                                                               
consultation  with the  special assistant  for the  Department of                                                               
Public Safety and based on her information he is in agreement.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:39:09 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY HOWELL, Special  Assistant; Legislative Liaison, Department                                                               
of  Public Safety  (DPS), Anchorage,  stated that  the department                                                               
does not see any red flags.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:39:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD  offered  her  belief  that  the  bill  was  an                                                               
improvement.  She  asked  whether  the  department  had  taken  a                                                               
position on SB 35.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOWELL  answered that  she can not  speak for  the governor's                                                               
office, but the department is generally supportive of the bill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:40:15 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  SKIDMORE,  Director,  Criminal  Division,  Central  Office,                                                               
Department of Law, Anchorage, stated  that the administration was                                                               
in support of Version K of SB 35.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES  congratulated Mr.  Skidmore  on  his promotion  to                                                               
Deputy Commissioner.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  thanked her. He  said that  he will not  assume the                                                               
position  as  the  Deputy Attorney  General,  Criminal  Division,                                                               
Department of Law until May 16.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:41:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL asked about the  change from knowingly to reckless.                                                               
He  asked  whether  the  change in  mental  state  causes  strong                                                               
concerns  about  justice  and  the  likelihood  of  inappropriate                                                               
convictions.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:42:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER joined the meeting.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:42:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL asked  whether the public defender  agency sees the                                                               
change as something  that will lead to higher  costs. He wondered                                                               
if it  would lead to more  jury trials. Finally, he  wondered how                                                               
this would interact  with threshold cases, such as  when a victim                                                               
is  in  the  early  stages   of  dementia  or  has  developmental                                                               
disabilities.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:43:13 PM                                                                                                                    
QUINLAN  STEINER,  Director,   Public  Defender  Agency,  Central                                                               
Office,  Department of  Administration,  Anchorage,  said he  has                                                               
concerns about  the changes in the  bill related to mens  rea for                                                               
sex offenses, especially  when combined with the  changes made to                                                               
the  elimination  of  the marriage  defense.  Simply  put,  these                                                               
change  the mens  rea from  knowingly to  recklessly. This  means                                                               
that someone  can have  an honestly held  belief that  someone is                                                               
not mentally  incapable, incapacitated,  or unaware and  still be                                                               
subject  to prosecution.  This is  particularly problematic  with                                                               
the removal of  the marriage defense without replacing  it with a                                                               
consent  defense.  This version  of  the  bill would  criminalize                                                               
typical   conduct   between   married  couples   or   people   in                                                               
relationships. He predicted  it would lead to  the prosecution of                                                               
people that one would not want charged or prosecuted.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He predicted  it would drive up  costs of litigation. He  said it                                                               
makes it more  difficult to understand the  line between criminal                                                               
and  non-criminal  behavior.  It  is  especially  difficult  when                                                               
individuals have  dementia or are  consuming alcohol. He  said it                                                               
is important to  recognize that the belief  that prosecutors will                                                               
use  their discretion  and not  charge  cases should  not be  the                                                               
basis for  not being  more specific  about what  is criminalized.                                                               
There are many  state prosecutors with a range of  points of view                                                               
on who should  be prosecuted based on the  definition in statute.                                                               
He  said the  language  has  been broadened  to  the extent  that                                                               
convictions and  prosecutions can be expected.  Further, a person                                                               
may  actually consent  to certain  conduct, which  will still  be                                                               
considered  criminal  conduct,  even   though  the  person  fully                                                               
consented.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:45:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked Mr. Skidmore for further clarification.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE  identified the  two  issues  presented. The  first                                                               
issue is related  to resources, and the second one  is related to                                                               
changing  the  mens rea  for  sexual  assault  as it  relates  to                                                               
mentally incapable, incapacitated, or  individuals unaware that a                                                               
sex act is occurring and  the interaction with the elimination of                                                               
the marriage defense.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKIDMORE agreed  that some  additional sexual  assault cases                                                               
involving victims  who are mentally incapable,  incapacitated, or                                                               
unaware  would  be  prosecuted,  but it  would  be  difficult  to                                                               
quantify the  number at  this time.  He said  he did  not believe                                                               
that a  substantial increase  in resources  would be  required or                                                               
that the changes  would result in unwanted  prosecutions. He said                                                               
the definition of reckless found  in AS 11.41.900(a)(3) says that                                                               
a  person  has  to  be  aware  of  and  consciously  disregard  a                                                               
substantial and  unjustifiable risk that the  results will occur,                                                               
or  the circumstances  exist. The  scenario  the public  defender                                                               
described  was of  a married  couple  with one  suffering from  a                                                               
mental  issue   that  resulted  in  impaired   functioning.  This                                                               
language would require  the partner without dementia  to be aware                                                               
of  and consciously  disregard  a  substantial and  unjustifiable                                                               
risk  that  the   other  person  was  suffering   from  a  mental                                                               
debilitation. The  definition goes on  to say that the  risk must                                                               
be of such  a nature and degree that the  disregard constitutes a                                                               
gross deviation  from the standard  of conduct that  a reasonable                                                               
person would observe in that  situation. Although the state might                                                               
prosecute  additional cases,  he did  not agree  with the  public                                                               
defender that they would be unwarranted arrests.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:50:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD  remarked  that   changing  the  standard  from                                                               
knowingly to reckless was really important.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:50:37 PM                                                                                                                    
KACI  SCHROEDER,  Assistant  Attorney  General,  Central  Office,                                                               
Criminal  Division,  Department of  Law,  Juneau,  said that  she                                                               
concurred with Mr. Skidmore's analysis.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:51:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  moved  to  adopt   Amendment  1,  work  order  31-                                                               
GS1873\K.1, Radford, 4/4/19, which read as follows:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE                    BY SENATOR HUGHES                                                                 
          TO:  CSSB 35(JUD), Draft Version "K"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 15, lines 20 - 21:                                                                                                    
          Delete "if the victim is at least six years                                                                       
     younger than the offender"                                                                                             
          Insert "under AS 11.41.438(c)"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
BUDDY  WHITT,   Staff,  Senator  Shelley  Hughes,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, explained that  Amendment 1 was a conforming                                                               
amendment.  He referred  to Section  24 and  read the  amendment.                                                               
This  would reference  the criminal  statute  AS 11.41.438(c)  to                                                               
clear up any ambiguity, he said.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:52:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER removed  his objection.  There  being no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:53:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  moved  to  adopt   Amendment  2,  work  order  31-                                                               
GS1873\K.3, Radford, 4/4/19, which read as follows:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT 2                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE                    BY SENATOR HUGHES                                                                 
          TO:  CSSB 35(JUD), Draft Version "K"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 23, line 22:                                                                                                          
          Delete "in-service"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:53:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WHITT referred  to Section 36 on  page 23, line 22  of SB 35,                                                               
Version  K.  He  explained  that   Amendment  2  relates  to  the                                                               
additional annual  training for  mandatory reporters  of possible                                                               
sexual offenses  against children implemented in  Sections 33-35.                                                               
He said  the committee was  informed that the department  had the                                                               
means  to  provide  computer-based  training, but  the  term  in-                                                               
service implies face-to-face training.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SHOWER removed  his objection.  There  being no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:54:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  moved  to  adopt   Amendment  3,  work  order  31-                                                               
GS1873\K.4, Radford, 4/6/19, which read as follows:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT 3                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE                    BY SENATOR HUGHES                                                                 
          TO:  CSSB 35(JUD), Draft Version "K"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 11, line 19, following "mechanism,":                                                                              
          Insert "10 - 25 years;"                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 11, lines 20 - 22:                                                                                                    
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:54:54 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WHITT  said that  Amendment 3 is  a technical  amendment that                                                               
removes  redundant language  that  Senator  Kiehl identified.  He                                                               
explained that if a second  offense occurs, it would be addressed                                                               
by language on lines 25-26 of version K.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SHOWER removed  his objection.  There  being no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:56:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES moved to adopt Amendment 4, work order 31-                                                                         
GS1873\.K.5, Radford, 4/6/19, which read as follows:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT 4                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE                    BY SENATOR HUGHES                                                                 
          TO:  CSSB 35(JUD), Draft Version "K"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 25, following line 11:                                                                                                
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Sec. 44. Section 33 of this Act takes effect                                                                     
     September 1, 2020."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill section accordingly.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 25, line 12:                                                                                                          
          Delete "secs. 42 and 43"                                                                                              
          Insert "secs. 42 - 44"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. WHITT referred to page 25  of Version K. He stated this would                                                               
add  a new  effective  date of  September  1, 2020,  specifically                                                               
related  to the  training requirements  in  Section 3  of SB  35,                                                               
Version K.  This would  allow the  department sufficient  time to                                                               
prepare training prior to the start of the school year.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER removed his objection. There being no further                                                                    
objection, Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:56:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES moved to adopt Amendment 5, work order 31-                                                                         
GS1873\K.6, Radford, 4/6/19, which read as follows:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT 5                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE                    BY SENATOR HUGHES                                                                 
          TO:  CSSB 35(JUD), Draft Version "K"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 23, line 14:                                                                                                          
          Delete "the report to the department or a law                                                                     
     enforcement agency as"                                                                                                 
         Insert "a [THE] report [TO THE DEPARTMENT AS]"                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WHITT  said that  Senator  Micciche  brought this  technical                                                               
amendment  to  the  committee's   attention.  He  explained  that                                                               
Amendment 5  would clean up the  language on page 23,  line 14 of                                                               
SB 35, Version K. It would read,  "   obligation to make a report                                                               
as required under (a) of this section."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SHOWER removed  his objection.  There  being no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 5 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:57:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony on SB 35.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:58:38 PM                                                                                                                    
BETH FREAD, representing herself, Palmer,  spoke in support of SB                                                               
35, as amended.  She said she appreciated the  work the committee                                                               
did on SB 35.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:59:44 PM                                                                                                                    
KEELEY OLSON, Executive Director,  Standing Together Against Rape                                                               
(STAR), Anchorage,  spoke in support  of SB 35. Although  she has                                                               
not had an  opportunity to review the new bill  draft, STAR would                                                               
support  removing the  defense  of marriage  and  the changes  to                                                               
sexual  assault in  the second  degree. For  example, she  worked                                                               
with  a  woman who  was  raped  by her  spouse  when  she was  on                                                               
prescription medication  after gynecological surgery.  The victim                                                               
had to  have subsequent emergency  surgery. Her spouse  was aware                                                               
that she  was not to engage  in any sexual activity.  This is one                                                               
example of several that have occurred in Anchorage, she said.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She commended  the language in  the bill that would  increase and                                                               
enhance  statutes concerning  the  use of  technology for  sexual                                                               
solicitation  of   minors.  She  stated  support   for  returning                                                               
sentencing  levels to  pre-Senate  Bill 91  levels, which  should                                                               
enhance victim safety. She stated  further support for having sex                                                               
offenders from other states register as sex offenders.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. OLSON expressed  concern with language changes on  page 22 of                                                               
Version  K,  [to AS  47.17.020(a)]  that  requires that  mandated                                                               
reporting be made  to local law enforcement agencies,  as well as                                                               
to the  department. She asked  for further clarification  on that                                                               
language since  a process already exists  for mandated reporting.                                                               
She emphasized that reporting is  considered a sworn duty and the                                                               
organization trusts that the information  is being relayed to the                                                               
law enforcement  agency or  to the  jurisdiction where  the crime                                                               
occurred, which is often not the same location.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:03:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES characterized the changes  in mandatory reporting as                                                               
casting a wider net as a  result of situations that have occurred                                                               
in the schools with teachers  and minors. This alerts the parties                                                               
that   besides  reporting   suspected   sexual   crimes  to   the                                                               
department, the suspected  sex offenses must also  be reported to                                                               
the nearest  law enforcement agency.  She expressed  concern that                                                               
some crimes  may be reported  to the principal and  this language                                                               
ensures that law enforcement is also informed.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
She thanked  Ms. Olson  for her input  and suggestions.  She said                                                               
that one issue that was not  changed is the consent language. She                                                               
explained that Mr. Skidmore will  work with the committee on this                                                               
issue during the  interim. She acknowledged that  the language is                                                               
archaic  and  needs   to  be  fixed.  However,   the  project  is                                                               
significant since it  will have a domino effect.  Mr. Skidmore is                                                               
committed to researching  this since other states  have worked on                                                               
it and  Alaska can  avoid some  of their  mistakes. She  said she                                                               
hoped to address this in January.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  related that the organization  Community United for                                                               
Safety  and  Protection  requested legislators  amend  the  House                                                               
version of  SB 35 to  address police officers engaging  in sexual                                                               
conduct  during  investigations.  She   said  this  seemed  quite                                                               
alarming, but  in conversations with law  enforcement she learned                                                               
that laws currently  exist to prosecute officers  who commit such                                                               
crimes, and that this type of  behavior is not condoned by either                                                               
local law enforcement or the Alaska State Troopers.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  OLSON responded  that STAR  is not  aligned or  engaged with                                                               
that citizens' group. She surmised  that this group has an agenda                                                               
to decriminalize  sex work  and disregards any  harm that  may be                                                               
caused  by  human  trafficking.  She  said  that  STAR  has  been                                                               
involved in  several cases where local  law enforcement personnel                                                               
engaged in  sexual misconduct, including former  Anchorage Police                                                               
Officer Anthony Rollins [who was convicted in 2011].                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
She  offered  her  belief  that   the  response  from  local  law                                                               
enforcement was stellar in regard  to protecting and working with                                                               
the victims to hold former  officer Rollins accountable. She said                                                               
she has heard  anecdotally that the organization  told people not                                                               
to  seek assistance  from STAR.  She emphasized  that STAR  would                                                               
always be available  for anyone in the community  who was harmed.                                                               
She  said  that  STAR  would  make  victims  aware  of  available                                                               
resources and their rights. No  one should be subjected to sexual                                                               
violence,  she said.  She  further emphasized  that  STAR is  not                                                               
aware of  any of  the cases  that group  alleges occurred  or any                                                               
activity  or pattern  it attests  is typical.  That has  not been                                                               
STAR's experience, she said.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  remarked that  if any  such pattern  exists, Alaska                                                               
has laws to  charge any officer engaged in  illegal activity. She                                                               
asked  Deputy  Commissioner Duxbury  to  speak  to the  Community                                                               
United  for Safety  and Protection  group. She  asked whether  an                                                               
amendment was needed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:08:54 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL   DUXBURY,    Deputy   Commissioner,   Office    of   the                                                               
Commissioner, Department of Public  Safety (DPS), Anchorage, said                                                               
that he  has been associated  with the Alaska State  Troopers for                                                               
approximately 30  years. He has  spent considerable  time working                                                               
undercover,  and he  has also  served as  the supervisor  of many                                                               
undercover operations. He echoed  Ms. Olson's succinct testimony.                                                               
He  said that  he  participated in  the  investigation of  former                                                               
officer  Rollins. He  confirmed that  current statutes  provide a                                                               
means to prosecute these types of crimes.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He emphasized that Alaska State  Troopers never engage in one-on-                                                               
one operations  related to illegal  sex crimes. He said  that the                                                               
department's focus  is always on  the underlying  criminality and                                                               
the people involved  in the crime. He said  that everyone working                                                               
in  those  covert operations  is  monitored  by surveillance,  in                                                               
conjunction  with  the  district   attorney,  or  with  the  U.S.                                                               
Attorney's  office. Further,  a high-level  supervisor, the  next                                                               
level supervisor, and the line  supervisor would all be involved.                                                               
He said  that these  are dangerous  situations with  the criminal                                                               
milieu behind the  scenes and in that type of  lifestyle. He said                                                               
he has  heard the supposition  that these operations  are one-on-                                                               
one situations.  In order  for these allegations  to be  true, it                                                               
would  mean  that the  department  had  extensive corruption.  He                                                               
reiterated that laws are in  place to prosecute any rogue officer                                                               
who  engaged  in that  criminal  activity.  He stressed  that  an                                                               
officer engaging in  that type of criminal  behavior is abhorrent                                                               
to professional law enforcement. He  said that the department and                                                               
the troopers hold up integrity and trust to the public.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked the record  to reflect his testimony to inform                                                               
the public that laws exist to  address this and the importance of                                                               
integrity among law enforcement personnel.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:13:08 PM                                                                                                                    
RODGER BRANSON,  representing himself,  Eagle River, spoke  as an                                                               
advocate of  mental health  services. He said  he wanted  to know                                                               
about any subversive activity in Palmer.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES  asked him  to  submit  specific questions  to  Mr.                                                               
Duxbury via her office, but to limit his testimony to SB 35.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRANSON said he wanted to  ensure that the bill would protect                                                               
everyone. He said he would be  concerned about relying on STAR to                                                               
determine illegal activity  since they could perhaps  turn away a                                                               
victim. He  said the committee  is doing "some awesome  work that                                                               
needs  to be  done,"  but  he wants  to  ensure  that [the  bill]                                                               
protects the people who need to be protected.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:15:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES, after  first determining no one  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony on SB 35.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:15:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD expressed her thanks  for the work on this bill.                                                               
She said  she was pleased  that SB 35  has become a  more victim-                                                               
centered  bill. She  emphasized that  she supports  strengthening                                                               
criminal law related to sexual assault.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:15:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL expressed his thanks for  the work on this bill. On                                                               
the whole it  is really good legislation  and provides additional                                                               
tools  and   resources  for  victims,   he  said.   He  expressed                                                               
appreciation that the bill would  eliminate the marriage defense.                                                               
However,  while the  bill  contains many  good  changes, it  also                                                               
increases  the severity  of  the offenses  that  will use  public                                                               
safety resources. He offered his  belief that increased penalties                                                               
were unlikely to  make a difference. Changes  that will apprehend                                                               
offenders  not previously  being  caught are  excellent ones,  he                                                               
said. He  argued that penalties for  some crimes were not  on par                                                               
with  penalties for  other crimes.  He predicted  those increased                                                               
penalties  would  cost  money  to implement,  but  it  would  not                                                               
improve public safety. He supported  the intent language for more                                                               
proactive work on Internet crimes  against children because these                                                               
provisions will  catch criminals  and help  reduce the  number of                                                               
victims. He emphasized that Internet  crimes against children are                                                               
important ones  to focus  on and to  use criminal  justice system                                                               
resources. Those are the most  important changes this bill makes,                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He predicted that some provisions  in the bill will be litigated.                                                               
He concurred that  sex offenders who have  committed sex offenses                                                               
that are crimes  in Alaska should be on a  sex offender registry.                                                               
However,  the  language in  the  bill  also captures  people  who                                                               
committed  offenses   in  another   jurisdiction  that   are  not                                                               
considered criminal offenses in  Alaska. The Alaska Supreme Court                                                               
has  reviewed the  Constitution of  the State  of Alaska  and has                                                               
acknowledged the punitive element for  those on the sex registry.                                                               
He  offered his  belief  that it  is  unconstitutional to  punish                                                               
people whose behavior is not a  crime in Alaska. He said he hopes                                                               
that as the  bill moves forward this issue would  be addressed so                                                               
that strong  public protections are  met, and the state  does not                                                               
waste time in court.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KIEHL  stated  support   for  eliminating  the  marriage                                                               
defense,  which  is  a  good provision.  However,  he  said  that                                                               
combining it  with the change in  mental state for the  crimes of                                                               
sexual assault  in the  second degree and  sexual assault  in the                                                               
third degree worries him. He  recalled that Mr. Skidmore read the                                                               
definition of  reckless. He  offered his  belief that  this would                                                               
create an  ambiguous line.  For example, it  may be  difficult to                                                               
determine criminal  behavior for marital relations  when a couple                                                               
has  been married  for  a  long time,  but  one partner  develops                                                               
dementia or has an early  onset Alzheimer that gradually worsens.                                                               
He  agreed that  the knowing  standard  is very  clear, but  this                                                               
language also includes sexual contact.  He emphasized the need to                                                               
catch the  "bad actors,"  but he had  concern that  combining the                                                               
two  changes would  create  some  real problems.  He  said he  is                                                               
anxious to move SB 35 forward,  but he believes that it could use                                                               
additional work.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:20:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE thanked  the  committee for  its  work on  this                                                               
bill. He  questioned how long  the state  needed to be  listed as                                                               
number one  in the nation  for the most sexually  abused children                                                               
before it remedies the issue.  Since these crimes are increasing,                                                               
he  expressed his  support  for increasing  the  severity of  the                                                               
penalties for sexual assault crimes.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He said that  there is only one  way to break the  cycle. In many                                                               
communities Alaska's  perpetrators have  been known  for decades.                                                               
For  example,  he  said  that   Peter  [Wilson]  allegedly  raped                                                               
children for years before he  killed 10-year-old Ashley [Johnson-                                                               
Barr].  In terms  of the  registry, he  said some  of these  acts                                                               
should have  been made crimes  in Alaska years ago.  For example,                                                               
the acts  Justin Schneider  committed should  have been  a crime.                                                               
Alaska is just  now recognizing that some  state criminal justice                                                               
systems are  more advanced than  in Alaska. Many of  these states                                                               
have a  far lower incidence  of sexual abuse and  sexual assault,                                                               
he   said.   Children   can    be   destroyed   emotionally   and                                                               
physiologically. These children  may later act out,  so the cycle                                                               
continues, he said.  Not only do the children  and their families                                                               
pay with  a diminished  quality of  life, but  the state  pays in                                                               
almost  every  category in  the  budget.  If these  victims  ever                                                               
normalize, it  would come  after years  of counseling.  This bill                                                               
attempts  to address  all of  the issues  the state  is battling,                                                               
including opioid  abuse, alcoholism, suicide,  domestic violence,                                                               
and  sexual assault.  He said  he wholeheartedly  supports moving                                                               
the bill forward.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:23:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES said when gauging  whether public safety is improved                                                               
by  increasing the  severity  of penalties,  it  is important  to                                                               
remember the statistics for sexual  offenses. However, one reason                                                               
the recidivism rates  are low is due to the  strict structure and                                                               
the containment  model used.  The number  of years  sex offenders                                                               
are incarcerated helps  keep the reoccurrence low,  she said. She                                                               
said that  she spoke  with Alaskans  about suicide  prevention in                                                               
her office recently.  Part of getting to the root  of the problem                                                               
is "calling things  what they are." The state  has many children,                                                               
teens, and adults who have been  harmed. In some ways the victims                                                               
suffer lifelong pain that could be considered worse than death.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
She  said that  in terms  of Senator  Kiehl's concerns  about the                                                               
marriage  defense and  the  change in  the  standard of  defense,                                                               
prosecutors will target the bad guys.  She said she did not share                                                               
his concern that problems would surface.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES  said that  considering  the  horrific crimes  that                                                               
children suffer  has made  her cognizant  of the  prosecutors who                                                               
work  in the  field. She  asked  members to  give prosecutors  "a                                                               
shout out" because  they deal with these victims  daily. She said                                                               
she hopes the tools [in SB  35] will be helpful. She acknowledged                                                               
that it is  not possible to eradicate evil with  good policy, but                                                               
she  hopes   that  the  legislature   can  help  deter   it.  She                                                               
acknowledged that additional work needs  to be done regarding the                                                               
consent  language  and on  other  issues  that may  surface.  She                                                               
looked forward to working with the department on these issues.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:26:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  moved to report  the committee  substitute (CS)                                                               
for  SB 35,  work order  35-GS1873\K as  amended, from  committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There  being no  objection, CSSB  35(JUD) was  reported from  the                                                               
Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  asked the  record to  reflect that  the Legislative                                                               
Legal  Services, Legislative  Affairs Agency,  was authorized  to                                                               
make any technical  and conforming changes in  order to implement                                                               
the adopted amendments.                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SJR 5 Transmittal Letter.pdf SJUD 4/8/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 3/28/2019 3:30:00 PM
SJR 5
CSSJR 5 Version U.PDF SJUD 4/8/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 5
SJR 5 - CSSJR 5(STA) ver U Sectional 4.8.19.pdf SJUD 4/8/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 5
SJR 5 - CSSJR 5(STA) - Comparison 4.8.19.pdf SJUD 4/8/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 4/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 5
SJR 5 Fiscal Note GOV-DOE.pdf SJUD 4/8/2019 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/2/2019 3:30:00 PM
SSTA 4/4/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJR 5