Court Process Protections Developed for Rape Victims Under Bill

State Senator Ed Charbonneau
State Senator Ed Charbonneau

State Senator Ed Charbonneau is sponsoring a bill designed to give protections to rape victims in the state of Indiana.

The bill, House Enrolled Act 1064, is designed to develop a process whereby rape victims may file a petition in the courts to end the parental relationship between an alleged rapist and a child conceived as the result of a violent sexual act.

It was authored by Republican State Representative Harold Slager out of Schererville, but Charbonneau claims he filed similar legislation in 2012.

According to a digest of the bill, women over the age of 18 must file a petition with the courts within 180 days of giving birth. The timeline is extended to two years for rape victims under the age of 18.

The courts must also determine by clear and convincing evidence that the rape did indeed occur and that terminating the parent-child relationship between the rapist and the newborn would be in the best interest of the child.

The bill has received the approval of both Indiana chambers and heads to the governor’s desk for final signature.