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ACT NO. 79


Crimes; vulnerable adults; abuse, neglect, and exploitation

This act reorganizes the statutes establishing criminal offenses against vulnerable adults and moves them from Title 33 to Title 13. The act enhances the penalties for several of the offenses and for cases where the offender is a caregiver for the vulnerable adult. The act establishes a new offense which prohibits willfully acquiring possession or control of funds or property of a vulnerable adult through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, or fraud. The act requires the department of aging and independent living to keep the reporter and the victim of the abuse informed at all stages of the department's investigation and to provide written notice to the reporter and victim when the department decides not to investigate a report, refers a report to another agency, or concludes its investigation. The notification requirements also apply to the victim's legal representative. The act requires all agencies, facilities, or institutions providing care and services to v ulnerable adults to display a poster describing the protections afforded to vulnerable adults by the act and Vermont law. Providers of home-based services are required to display the poster in their principal places of business and to provide a written notice which includes all information contained on the poster to each vulnerable adult for whom services are provided.

The act also amends several criminal procedures not involving vulnerable adults. The act requires and funds psychosexual evaluations of offenders whom the state petitions for designation as sexually violent predators. The act clarifies that a person who is determined to be a sexually violent predator is subject to sex offender lifetime registration and community notification and inclusion on the internet sex offender registry. The act also increases the maximum penalties and fines for the crime of lewd or lascivious conduct with a child and provides that a person convicted of aggravated sexual assault is not eligible for early release or furlough until the expiration of the minimum sentence imposed.

Effective Date: July 1, 2005, except for the appropriation of funding for psychosexual evaluations, which shall take effect on passage, June 25, 2005.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont