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Relating to the punishment for the criminal offense of improper sexual activity with a person in custody; increasing a criminal penalty.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 376 would make all engagement in sexual contact with an individual in custody by a correctional facility employee or peace officer a second-degree felony, regardless of whether the person in custody is a juvenile or not. Currently the penalty for improper sexual contact in these circumstances is a state jail felony.
Texas Action is neutral on HB 376 as it does not touch directly upon any of our Liberty Principles. Raising the penalty for this offense from a state jail felony to a second degree felony is not disproportionate to the crime because incarcerated individuals are not able to effectively give or withhold consent for sexual contact with a person who is in authority over them or who has the ability to influence the conditions of their confinement.