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Bill clarifys who cannot have sexual contact with students



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SALT LAKE CITY — A bill defining any member of a school faculty as holding a "position of special trust" and subject to legal penalties for engaging in sexual contact with a child was passed unanimously Monday by the Utah House.

HB213, sponsored by Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, clarifies existing statute to close a legal loophole through which prosecutors have struggled at times to make a case against adults who were not directly involved in the classroom education of a student victim.

Christensen said he's been trying for three years to find the right language for a bill. He said HB213 was written in consultation with law enforcement agencies and clarifies the trusted role of school personnel.

"You’ve entred into an occupation where day in and day out parents entrust their children into an environment where they would have never, never, never thought or foreseen their children could be in danger," he said.

The bill passed the House in a 73-0 vote after minimal discussion. It will now go before the Senate for consideration.

Benjamin Wood

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