Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

04/12/2019 09:30 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
09:33:12 AM Start
09:33:47 AM HB33
10:05:04 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Continued from 4/11/19 --
+= HB 33 SEXUAL ASSAULT; SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 33(STA) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 12, 2019                                                                                         
                           9:33 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Zack Fields, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Co-Chair                                                                                
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 33                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to defenses to sexual assault; and relating to                                                                 
registration of sex offenders."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 33(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 33                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: SEXUAL ASSAULT; SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) CLAMAN                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/20/19       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/11/19                                                                               
02/20/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/20/19       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/11/19       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/11/19       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
04/12/19       (H)       STA AT 9:30 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE MATT CLAMAN                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 33, Version S, as prime                                                                     
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
LIZZIE KUBITZ, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Reviewed the sectional analysis  for HB 33,                                                             
Version S, on behalf of Representative Claman, prime sponsor.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:33:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  ZACK FIELDS  called the  House  State Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  back to  order at  9:33 a.m.   Present  at the                                                               
call  back to  order were  Representatives LeDoux,  Story, Vance,                                                               
Shaw, and Fields.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
        HB 33-SEXUAL ASSAULT; SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
9:33:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS announced  that the only order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  33, "An  Act relating  to defenses  to sexual                                                               
assault; and relating to registration of sex offenders."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:34:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW moved to adopt  the committee substitute (CS)                                                               
for  HB  33,  [Version  31-LS0292\S,  Radford,  4/8/19],  as  the                                                               
working  document.   There  being  no  objection, Version  S  was                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:34:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MATT  CLAMAN, Alaska  State Legislature,  as prime                                                               
sponsor  of  HB  33,  Version S,  paraphrased  from  the  sponsor                                                               
statement, included in the committee packet, which read:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill 33 clarifies that  a person who is convicted                                                                    
     of  a sex  crime  and  required to  register  as a  sex                                                                    
     offender in another state is  also required to register                                                                    
     as  a  sex  offender  in   Alaska.  Under  HB  33,  sex                                                                    
     offenders and child kidnappers  who have been convicted                                                                    
     in  other   states  (outside  Alaska)  would   have  to                                                                    
     register in  Alaska databases if  they are  residing in                                                                    
     the   state.  This   clarification   will  bring   more                                                                    
     accountability for people who  otherwise might not have                                                                    
     a state record.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill  33 also removes  a legal defense  to sexual                                                                    
     assault that currently exists in  state law. In certain                                                                    
     limited  circumstances,  current  law  still  allows  a                                                                    
     perpetrator  of sexual  assault  to use  marriage as  a                                                                    
     defense if  the person engages in  sexual activity with                                                                    
     their spouse  when they know  their spouse  is mentally                                                                    
     incapable,  incapacitated, or  unaware that  the sexual                                                                    
     act is being committed. HB 33 removes this defense.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Over the  last few  months, Alaskans have  read heinous                                                                    
     reports of  sexual assault and  violence at  the local,                                                                    
     state, and  national level. By proposing  amendments to                                                                    
     improve  Alaska's  sexual   assault  and  sex  offender                                                                    
     registration statutes, concerned  community members can                                                                    
     trust  that the  legislature  is  listening and  taking                                                                    
     important steps  to update our  laws to  improve public                                                                    
     safety.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN explained that  Version S clarifies that an                                                               
out-of-state juvenile  offender who  was charged  and adjudicated                                                               
as  a minor  in that  state  and was  required by  that state  to                                                               
register as a  sex offender is not required to  register as a sex                                                               
offender  in  Alaska.    Alaska does  not  require  juvenile  sex                                                               
offenders to register;  a court may find that  the Alaska privacy                                                               
law protects that information.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:37:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIZZIE KUBITZ,  Staff, Representative  Matt Claman,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, on  behalf of  Representative Claman,  prime sponsor                                                               
of HB  33, Version S,  reviewed the sectional  analysis, included                                                               
in the committee packet, which read:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1                                                                                                              
     AS 11.41.432(a) - Defenses.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Removes marriage as a defense  if the person engages in                                                                    
     sexual activity with their spouse  when they know their                                                                    
     spouse   is  mentally   incapable,  incapacitated,   or                                                                    
     unaware that the sexual act is being committed.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2                                                                                                              
     AS  12.63.010(d) -  Registration of  sex offenders  and                                                                    
     related requirements.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Conforming   amendment.  Amends   AS  12.63.010(d)   to                                                                    
     reflect change made in Section 3 of the bill.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3                                                                                                              
     AS  12.63.020  -  Duration of  sex  offender  or  child                                                                    
     kidnapper duty to register.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Amends AS  12.63.020 to  clarify that  a person  who is                                                                    
     convicted of  an offense  as an  adult and  required to                                                                    
     register  as  a  sex  offender or  child  kidnapper  in                                                                    
     another jurisdiction is also  required to register as a                                                                    
     sex offender in Alaska.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4                                                                                                              
     AS 12.63.100(6) - Definitions.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Adds  a person  who is  convicted of  an offense  as an                                                                    
     adult and  required to  register as  a sex  offender or                                                                    
     child   kidnapper  in   another  jurisdiction   to  the                                                                    
     definition of "sex offender or child kidnapper."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5                                                                                                              
     Uncodified law                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     This section contains applicability provisions.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:39:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  asked how the sex  offender registration is                                                               
enforced and  how the  state knows  whether sex  offenders coming                                                               
into the state are compliant.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  replied that all states  have sex offender                                                               
registration  requirements.    Typically,   when  those  who  are                                                               
required to  register in  one state move  to another  state, they                                                               
must  enquire about  registering with  the state's  department of                                                               
public safety.   He relayed that there are  Alaska laws regarding                                                               
failure to register;  non-registration is a felony.  He said that                                                               
he  cannot   speak  to  the  level   of  investigative  resources                                                               
dedicated  to  enforcing the  laws;  it  is  a question  for  the                                                               
Department of Public Safety (DPS).                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE maintained  that identifying  sex offenders                                                               
and  enforcing  the laws  is  a  matter  of  public trust.    She                                                               
referred to  page 4, line 3,  of Version S, which  read, "provide                                                               
for  tolling  of the  registration  period  ..." and  asked  what                                                               
"tolling" meant.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  explained the  tolling provision  with the                                                               
following  example:   A sex  offender, who  comes into  Alaska on                                                               
January  1st and  is registered  in the  state from  which he/she                                                               
came, would be required to register  in Alaska for the next year.                                                               
If that  person failed  to register, the  duty to  register would                                                               
continue even if the obligation  to register based on the out-of-                                                               
state conviction  ended January 1st  of the following year.   The                                                               
tolling provision  states that  the person,  who was  required to                                                               
register for the  year in Alaska and did not,  may not claim that                                                               
year  [for  fulfilling the  registration  obligation].   The  sex                                                               
offender would  have to  register in  Alaska, even  though he/she                                                               
may not  have needed to register  if just arriving at  the end of                                                               
the second year.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:43:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE asked Representative  Claman to speak to the                                                               
need for removing marriage as a defense under Version S.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN explained  that currently  for consenting,                                                               
functioning  adults,  marriage  is   not  a  defense  for  sexual                                                               
assault.  Under  Version S, the removal of marriage  as a defense                                                               
strictly   relates  to   situations  in   which  the   spouse  is                                                               
incompetent.    The  situation  arises  among  the  elderly  with                                                               
significant mental  disease and  disorders, those  with dementia,                                                               
those who are  highly intoxicated, and people  who have overdosed                                                               
on drugs.  He reiterated that  Version S does not change existing                                                               
law under which marriage is not a defense for sexual assault.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:46:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  whether  there can  no  longer  be                                                               
sexual relations  between married people  if one or the  other is                                                               
afflicted with dementia.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN replied  that  Quinlan Steiner  [Director,                                                               
Public  Defender  Agency   (PDA),  Department  of  Administration                                                               
(DOA)] pointed out that the question  is still an active topic; a                                                               
person  suffering  from  dementia  may  consent  to  many  things                                                               
besides sexual relationships.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX gave an example:   A husband and wife go to                                                               
a party; they both become  very intoxicated; they are entitled to                                                               
go to  bed together because it  is their bed.   She expressed her                                                               
concern that  the proposed legislation  provides a  "bludgeon" in                                                               
divorce court.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  relayed  a  story that  he  heard:    Two                                                               
married  people  are  in  exactly  the  situation  Representative                                                               
LeDoux  described; they  have sex;  and the  next morning  one is                                                               
upset, and  the other  doesn't remember anything.   He  said that                                                               
typically  such instances  don't  lead to  criminal charges,  but                                                               
hopefully  to   counseling  sessions.     He  stated   that  what                                                               
constitutes  consent and  not consent  in those  circumstances is                                                               
difficult;  incapacity goes  to the  question of  the ability  to                                                               
consent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX expressed that while  the hope is that such                                                               
an event  would not lead to  criminal charges, it appears  to her                                                               
that is  exactly what  Version S  is designed to  do.   She asked                                                               
what prompted that provision in the proposed legislation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  answered  that   these  issues  arose  in                                                               
questions responding to the Schneider  case [Justin Schneider was                                                               
convicted  of kidnapping  and  assault for  an  August 15,  2017,                                                               
incident in Anchorage].   The Department of  Law (DOL) identified                                                               
the  current  status of  the  marriage  defense of  incapacitated                                                               
persons as an issue that needed review.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:50:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  offered  her   support  for  the  proposed                                                               
legislation  requiring  the  registration of  sex  offenders  and                                                               
appreciation  for  the  concerns   regarding  enforcement.    She                                                               
expressed that  she understands why  the changes under  Section 1                                                               
of Version  S need to  be in  law; there are  complicated issues;                                                               
however, that is why we have counsel.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE   asked  how  Version  S   relates  to  the                                                               
Schneider  case,  considering the  two  people  involved in  that                                                               
incident were not married.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  stated   that  Representative  Vance  was                                                               
correct in that  Mr. Schneider was not married to  the woman that                                                               
he assaulted.  He stated that  when an event in the public raises                                                               
questions  about the  status of  Alaska criminal  law, it  is not                                                               
uncommon for  the legislature  to look  at other  laws to  see if                                                               
other areas  of law need  change, even  though the facts  of that                                                               
case have  no particular relation  to the changes  proposed under                                                               
Version S.   He offered that  what the Schneider case  did was to                                                               
cause the public to demand  the legislature look for other issues                                                               
and  loopholes   in  Alaska  sexual   assault  statutes.     When                                                               
researched,  he found  that the  loophole that  allowed Schneider                                                               
not to be  charged with a sexual  assault exists in 49  of the 50                                                               
states.   He stated that  the topic  of the marriage  defense was                                                               
reviewed to determine  whether there were situations  in which it                                                               
should continue to exist.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  relayed  the   larger  precept:    In  the                                                               
marriage agreement,  there is an assumed  consent; however, being                                                               
mentally incapable infringes on  that individual's right to their                                                               
security;  that is,  if one  person in  the marriage  is mentally                                                               
incapacitated, the  original contract  of marriage  cannot breach                                                               
one's  individual  right to  give  consent.    She asked  if  her                                                               
understanding was correct.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN   responded,  "You  pose   an  interesting                                                               
question."   He  expressed his  belief  that as  a legal  matter,                                                               
Alaska and  all 50 states  no longer consider marriage  a blanket                                                               
consent; people must consent every day.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:57:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   acknowledged  that  marriage   does  not                                                               
presuppose consent to rape; however,  Version S seems to regulate                                                               
the  situation  she  related  -   of  the  married  couple,  both                                                               
inebriated,  having  sexual relations,  one  being  upset in  the                                                               
morning, and the other not  remembering the incident.  She stated                                                               
that she is not sure she supports the proposed legislation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KUBITZ responded  that the  discussion has  been focused  on                                                               
marriage;  however,  the  scenarios   happen  in  many  different                                                               
relationships for  which there  are no  dedicated statutes.   She                                                               
mentioned  that  although  Version   S  addresses  spousal  rape,                                                               
committee members are discussing many other scenarios.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX expressed  that she  understands that  the                                                               
issue arises in  other scenarios; they become "he  said she said"                                                               
cases.   She maintained that  in those other  scenarios, consents                                                               
must be  given at each stage;  whereas, two people who  share one                                                               
bed  [through  co-habitation]  and  who  are  drunk  [presents  a                                                               
scenario apart from the others].                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:59:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   VANCE  expressed   her   concern  for   people's                                                               
individual rights  and protecting freedoms.   She asked  for more                                                               
time to review Version S.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  referred  to  the  sectional  analysis  of                                                               
Section 1 of Version S, which read:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Removes marriage as a defense  if the person engages in                                                                    
     sexual activity with their spouse  when they know their                                                                    
     spouse   is  mentally   incapable,  incapacitated,   or                                                                    
     unaware that the sexual act is being committed.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY relayed  that the  public would  agree with                                                               
this  provision as  a "bottom  line," regardless  of the  various                                                               
issues.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW  agreed that  even  though  there may  be  a                                                               
hundred   debatable  scenarios,   the   bottom   line  is   self-                                                               
explanatory.  He said he supports the proposed legislation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN offered  his availability  to discuss  the                                                               
legislation with committee members in more detail.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:04:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW moved to report CS for HB 33, Version 31-                                                                   
LS0292\S,  Radford,  4/8/19,  out of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection,  CSHB(STA)  was  reported  from  the  House  State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:05:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee meeting was  adjourned at 10:05                                                               
a.m.                                                                                                                            

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