Legislation banning peace officers from engaging in sexual activity with people in their custody signed into law
State Rep. Chris Rabb, who authored part of the legislation signed into law on Thursday, has introduced another bill to protect people being sexually trafficked from sexual assault by police
HARRISBURG, July 23 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., celebrated Thursday after a measure he authored banning police officers from engaging in sexual activity with people in their custody was signed into law, but said more must be done to further protect people in police custody.
“It is unconscionable that we needed a law to prevent police officers from sexually assaulting people in their custody,” Rabb said. “But as we are seeing more clearly today than ever before, substantial reforms are needed to protect people who come into contact with police officers, and we cannot take that fact for granted.”
Rabb said the legislation signed into law on Thursday banning police officers from engaging in sexual activity with people in their custody was fast-tracked in the state Senate through the tireless advocacy of his colleague, state Sen. Katie Muth. He also praised state Sen. Larry Farnese, who introduced a version of Rabb’s original bill, which was added as an amendment to the legislation that was enacted on Thursday.
But further action to pass H.B. 2709 – which would protect people who are being sexually trafficked and end up in police custody from deceitful acts by some law enforcement – is needed, Rabb said. Rabb recently introduced the legislation with state Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila.
Rabb has credited engaged and passionate community members, especially young people, for the progress that has been made regarding police accountability and safety measures in recent weeks.
“None of these important police reforms would be possible if it weren’t for the mobilization of thousands of protestors across the state, which inspired the creation of the Police Reform Working Group that’s led local and state efforts on this front,” Rabb said.