RELEASE: O'Neill calls for action on sexual assault laws following MSC case
ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled this morning that a person who is sexually assaulted isn't considered "mentally incapacitated" if they voluntarily consumed alcohol. Rep. Marion O'Neill, R-Maple Lake, is the coauthor of the bipartisan bill that would fix this loophole in the law, and update the rest of Minnesota's criminal sexual conduct (CSC) statute. HF 707, authored by Rep. Kelly Moller (D) and coauthored by Rep. O’Neill, includes the recommendations from the CSC Statutory Reform Working Group. The statutory working group was a result of Rep. O’Neill’s bill in 2019, Hannah’s Law, named after a 13 year old victim of rape and whose story was highlighted in the Star Tribune series “Denied Justice”. Rep. O’Neill attended most of the working group meetings and has been recognized as a bipartisan leader on CSC reform and advocating for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
"This ruling underscores the need to change our criminal sexual conduct laws to reflect the reality that all victims unable to consent need justice, not just those who have been forcibly intoxicated," said O'Neill. "I have been working hard on this issue for years, and along with the CSC Working Group and other advocates we have put forward a bill with solutions to some of the problems identified over the past years. It is time now to pass these solutions so that no victim ever has to be denied justice over a technicality."
The MN Supreme Court decision referenced O'Neill's "Hannah's Law", as well as HF 707, on which O'Neill has worked collaboratively across the aisle and with the CSC Working Group to introduce.