New legislation from a local lawmaker would further protect young victims of sex-based crimes.

State Representative Lana Theis of Brighton introduced the bill package Wednesday. It comes in response to a recent case where a 16-year-old offender was charged with 31 felonies against multiple victims. The Brighton Township teen ultimately pleaded guilty to 6 of them, including 1st degree criminal sexual conduct. Theis said in a statement that the punishment handed down to the offender did nothing to rehabilitate them, get justice for the victim, or to protect the community. She said the 45 day rehabilitation assignment the offender was given “is utterly insufficient.” She spoke of concern about whether the victims were going to have to go back to school with their offender, and what these bills do is help protect against that.

Under current law, schools must expel any student who commits criminal sexual conduct in a school building or on school grounds. New legislation would require schools to expel students who are convicted of criminal sexual conduct against any student enrolled in the same school district. It also prohibits the offender from enrolling in a school building that the victim attends and extends any personal protection orders to keeping the offender from entering the victim’s school. The two House Bills have been assigned to the House Law and Justice Committee. (MK)