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S. 3736 - To amend Rule 611 of the Federal Rules of Evidence to prohibit cross-examination by the accused of minor victims of sexual assault.

Sponsor: Jeff Flake (R)
Introduced: 2018-12-10
Bill Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
 
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Full Text


115th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3736


    To amend Rule 611 of the Federal Rules of Evidence to prohibit cross-examination by the accused of minor victims of sexual assault.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 10, 2018

    Mr. Flake introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

    To amend Rule 611 of the Federal Rules of Evidence to prohibit cross-examination by the accused of minor victims of sexual assault.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Cross-Examination of victims by the accused.

(a) In general.—Rule 611 of the Federal Rules of Evidence is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(d) Cross-Examination by pro se defendants of minor victims of sexual assault.—In a criminal case in which a defendant accused of sexual assault of a minor represents himself or herself pro se, upon application by the prosecutor, the minor, or the minor’s representative, cross-examination of the minor—

“(1) shall not be conducted by the defendant unless the court finds that it is necessitated by exceptional circumstances to protect the constitutional rights of the defendant; and

“(2) shall instead be conducted by an attorney for the defendant under the supervision of the court.

“(e) Definitions.—In this rule—

“(1) the term ‘minor’ means an individual under the age of 18;

“(2) the term ‘sexual assault of a minor’ means a crime under Federal law involving—

“(A) any conduct—

“(i) prohibited under section 1591 or chapter 109A, 110, or 117 of title 18, United States Code; or

“(ii) described in paragraphs (2) through (5) of Rule 413(d); and

“(B) a victim who is a minor; and

“(3) the term ‘victim’ means a person directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of an offense.”.

(b) Effective date.—The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply—

(1) to any proceeding commenced on or after the date of enactment of this Act; and

(2) insofar as is just and practicable, to any proceeding pending on such date of enactment.


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