A Utah bill, HB213, that would change the current punishment of a class A misdemeanor to a third-degree felony for those convicted of sexual contact with a student, has passed a House Committee.
Rep. Lavar Christensen, R-Draper, is sponsoring the bill regarding criminal penalties for sexual contact with a student. Sexual contact includes inappropriate touching between an adult and a minor. The definition of teacher would also include anyone who holds a place of special trust with students including an adult teacher, volunteer or employee.
Daniel Harper, the general counsel for the Canyon School District, said, “We believe that there needs to be additional deterrents to help curb this problem to this extent that we can.”
The bill passed the committee Friday, Feb. 21, unanimously 6-0.