Miller Proposes New Criminal Laws
The measures focus on reducing the incidence of crimes that harm children, and on reducing domestic violence.
DES MOINES-- Attorney General Tom Miller announced a battery of proposed changes in Iowa criminal laws in order to reduce abuse aimed at children and reduce domestic violence.
Miller made several proposals concerning children:
A program to spark creation of local Investigation/Prosecution Teams that can respond immediately when a child has been seriously injured or sexually abused. "The Court can't do its part in protecting children unless evidence is effectively gathered and preserved," Miller said. Key members would include the county prosecutor, law enforcement, the Dept. of Human Services, and a medical consultant.
Miller also will ask the Legislature to close a loophole by amending the child pornography statute to include prohibiting creation of materials depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, even if the material actually may be pictures that were technologically "morphed" or altered from otherwise innocent pictures of children or adults.
Expand the scope of "child endangerment" for committing certain acts in front of children, such as intentionally injuring another person, displaying a weapon, or committing a forcible felony. "Children who witness violence often are invisible victims," Miller said. "This can cause long-term harm such as emotional or psychological damage or increased risk of delinquency and the child becoming violent later in life."
Expand the scope of
domestic abuse to include persons in dating or intimate relationships,
especially so victims can obtain protection such as no-contact orders
from a court, and so courts can order perpetrators to obtain abuse counseling
and education. Current Iowa law extends such protection only to persons
who are married, have a child in common, or were cohabiting within one
year of the incident.
Prohibit possession of firearms by persons convicted of domestic violence or who are subject to no-contact orders. "This would make Iowa law parallel to Federal law," Miller said. "This is very important because almost two-thirds of Iowans killed in domestic abuse murders over the last decade were killed by guns. We need to get firearms out of the situation."
"The theme here is that we can do better to reduce the danger of abuse in Iowa for both children and adults," Miller said. "This is an effective list of things the Legislature can do to improve the lives and safety of many Iowans."
- 30 -Attorney General Home | News Release Home