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Lawmakers Move To Recognize ‘Stealthing’ As Sexual Assault

By in Huffington Post on May 17, 2017

By Jenavieve Hatch

Lawmakers in two states have introduced legislation that would make the practice of stealthing, or nonconsensual condom removal, illegal in their states.

State rep. Melissa Sargent announced her bill, LRB-3346 in a press release on May 4. “It’s time to get serious about consent and sexual assault,” she said in the release. “This behavior is predatory and disturbing, and people should know we [legislators] not only find it reprehensible, but that we won’t tolerate it.”

The issue isn’t whether or not ‘stealthing’ is happening, it’s whether or not we’re going to do something about it – @RepSargent https://t.co/EqBfGN7Bhl

— Rep. Melissa Sargent (@RepSargent) May 15, 2017

Sargent told HuffPost on Tuesday that the act of stealthing is “creepy and egregious,” and that she also made sure to use gender-neutral language in the law to ensure that victims of all genders and gender identities are supported.

The press release did not provide specific language about what the punishment for those found guilty of stealthing would be, but under current Wisconsin law, sexual assault falls into the group of Class B and C felonies ― Class B felonies are punishable by up to 60 years in prison and Class C felonies are punishable by up to 40 years in prison and a fine of $100,000.

Sargent told HuffPost that she worked with Alexandra Brodsky when drafting the legislation; Brodky’s April study of the phenomenon went viral, and inspired Sargent to write the new law in the first place. Sargent also told HuffPost that she is working with Brodsky on a separate piece of legislation that would support victims of stealthing, particularly with unexpected costs of AIDS and STI testing, pregnancy, or therapy and mental health services, which are unfortunately […]    

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