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Legislative Update: Sexual Assault by Persons with Supervisory or Disciplinary Authority

Posted by Sean A. Black | Jun 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

Improper sexual contact continues to be a concern of the society at large, but there is special concern where such contact occurs in the context of certain relationships.

  • Supervisory authority involves state or school related situations between supervisors and employees.
  • Disciplinary authority involves schools, prisons, jails, child welfare and youth services, as well as counseling and mental health treatment. 

The 2019 legislation brought child welfare and youth services and sensitive care facilities into that definition. It also defined employee.

Sexual contact involves contact of the intimate parts of either person for the sexual gratification of either person. Intimate parts include the genital area, groin, inner thighs, buttocks or breasts.

An improper sexual contact by employee or agent in the first degree is when such employee or agent knowingly engages in sexually explicit conduct with another person whom such employee or agent knows or reasonably should have known is vulnerable.

The penalties for the crimes have generally been increased with aggravating factors if the conduct involves a victim under the age of 16 years.

An improper sexual contact by employee or agent in the second degree is different from first Degree in that it does not include sexually explicit conduct. Where other aggravating circumstances are not present, a first offense is punished as a high and aggravated misdemeanor and is not subject to sex offense sentencing provisions. A second or subsequent offense is a felony, carrying 1-5 years and subject to sex offense sentencing provisions.

2019 – 2020 SB 9 / O.C.G.A. § 16-6-51

About the Author

Sean A. Black

Sean A. Black is a 1992 graduate of the Emory University School of Law. He has been in private practice in Toccoa, Georgia since June 1, 1992.

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