California bill would deem nonconsensual condom removal sexual battery

Non-consensual removal of condoms during sexual intercourse would be a sexual assault under a bill submitted by Congressman Christina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) on Monday.

California Civil Code now characterizes sexual assault as a person who acts with the intention of causing harmful or unpleasant contact with another person’s intimate body parts, resulting in sexually unpleasant behavior. I am. The perpetrator is liable for damages.

The bill, AB 453, states that “a person commits sexual assault if he causes contact between the penis from which the condom has been removed and another intimate part that has not verbally agreed to have the condom removed.” To add. .. “

According to experts, there is currently no civil or criminal law nationwide that defines “stealthing” as a crime.

“It’s been going on for a while. There are blogs online that help individuals and teach them how to avoid this,” Garcia told The Times, referring to the act of tampering with condoms. “To be able to stop an action, we need to be able to call it.”

In 2017 and 2018, Garcia submitted bills to criminalize stealthing under state criminal law. According to the parliamentary office, the bill did not move forward due to concerns that it might increase the prison population.

Garcia is the leader of the #MeToo movement in the state legislature and Male colleague Blame Inappropriate behavior, She is also faced with accusations of sexual misconduct.

In 2018, she took a three-month voluntary vacation while investigating a complaint by former legislator Daniel Fiero, who accused her of improperly touching her during a charity softball game four years ago.

Parliamentary investigations did not substantiate Fiero’s allegations. Further investigation revealed that she had acted “overly familiar” in softball games, violating Congressional policy against sexual harassment. However, “the predominance of evidence did not support the discovery that Congressman Christina Garcia touched Mr Fiero in the buttocks and genitals, or that this was a sexual encounter,” the law firm told Congress. Representative private law firm John T. Kennedy said. investigating.

Carly Mee, a lawyer at the Fierberg National Law Group on behalf of victims of sexual violence, praised the new bill.

“This is an act that violates someone’s independence,” she said. “There is a risk of pregnancy and a risk of sexually transmitted infections, but in essence it is changing the overall nature of sexual encounters.”

She said stealthing victims today may seek to pursue civil proceedings by claiming that it is an assault, but the claim may be unlikely to succeed.

“Under the California bill, this is actually a breach, and it’s much clearer that someone can pursue damages from the perpetrator,” she said.

Elizabeth Jegric, a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, said stealthing can cause post-traumatic stress similar to that experienced by rape victims.

“Many women explain it to the feeling of having experienced rape,” she said. “It violates the trust you had in your partner.”

Times staff writer Melanie Mason contributed to this report.

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