HB 142

85(R) - 2017
House Criminal Jurisprudence
House Criminal Jurisprudence

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Joe Moody

Bill Caption

Relating to the creation of the offense of indecent assault, to judicial protection for victims of that offense, and to certain criminal acts committed in relation to that offense. 

Fiscal Notes

From the LBB: no significant fiscal implication to the state is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This bill would create a new offence called "indecent assault" and defined as a nonconsensual action that is intended to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of any person. This bill would specifically prohibit inappropriate touching including through clothing, or attempting to remove any clothing covering another person’s genitals, pubic area, anus, buttocks, or female areola.

An offense under this bill would be considered a Class A misdemeanor. In addition, this bill would allow victims of indecent assault to request a protection order against the aggressor. HB 142 states that an offense under this chapter may also be an offense under another chapter, therefore the actor may be prosecuted under this law, or the other laws governing this behavior, or both. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

As the bill acknowledges, these acts are already criminal offenses under different parts of the statute. This bill would violate our principle of limited government by creating a new offense for actions that are already illegal and punishable as criminal offenses. Our laws should be few, necessary, fair, and just; creating a new category of offense for something that is already illegal is unnecessary. For these reasons we oppose HB 142.

Organizations Supporting

The Texas Council on Family Violence