TN House Passes Legislation Protecting Rape Victims And Making Sex Trafficking A Predatory Offense

Photo Credit: Public Domain

Published April 9, 2021

By William Haupt III [contributor to The Center Square & The Tennessee Conservative] –

Nashville, TN – This week, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed a bill to protect the victims of rape and in a separate bill, toughened the offense for sex trafficking. 

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

Both of the bills shared a prime sponsor in Representative Debra Moody, a Republican from Covington in Tipton County. 

On Thursday, House Republicans passed legislation protecting victims of aggravated statutory rape and statutory rape by an authority figure. 

House Bill 326 adds aggravated statutory rape and statutory rape by an authority figure to the list of offenses for which an offender will be prohibited from having custody or inheritance rights with regard to a child born as a result of the offense and for which any visitation will be conditioned on the other parent’s request. 

Present law removes parental rights from a rapist who is convicted of a crime. This legislation removes parental rights from a rapist who is convicted of or pleads guilty or no contest to a lesser offense. 

House Bill 326 protects a child from a questionable outcome in a civil custody battle by giving power to the victim of a rape and child of a rape to decide if and when a child will be around the father. House Bill 326 heads to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk for his signature. 

Also this week, the House chamber unanimously passed legislation expanding the definition of predatory offenses to include commercial sex trafficking. 

House Bill 1180 adds the offense of trafficking a person for a commercial sex act to the meaning of predatory offenses for the purposes of sentencing a person as a child sexual predator. 

Current law requires a convicted child sexual predator, aggravated rapist, multiple rapist, or child rapist to serve the entire sentence imposed by the court. Neither the governor nor the board of parole may release such an offender in an effort to reduce prison overcrowding before completion of the full sentence 

House Bill 1180 adds those convicted of sex trafficking to the category of sex predators who are ineligible for early parole or release before completion of their full sentence. 

House Bill 1180 was previously passed in the Senate chamber and it now heads to the governor’s desk for approval. 

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One thought on “TN House Passes Legislation Protecting Rape Victims And Making Sex Trafficking A Predatory Offense

  • April 10, 2021 at 12:48 pm
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    A good way to not increase the population of these people in prison, it to make rape a felony of the highest order and add on the ability to sentence them to death. These people have no place in society, especially when their crimes involve the rape of a child.

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