Introduced by Representatives Howrigan of Fairfield, Bartlett of Dover, Clark of Vergennes, Dunsmore of Georgia, Flory of Pittsford, Shaw of Derby and Valliere of Barre City
Subject: Crimes and criminal procedure; sexual assault; pharmacological treatment of sex offenders
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to authorize a court to determine if a defendant who is convicted of sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault when the victim is a child under the age of 12 years should be ordered to undergo pharmacological treatment.
AN ACT RELATING TO PHARMACOLOGICAL TREATMENT OF SEX OFFENDERS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
§ 3257. PHARMACOLOGICAL TREATMENT
(a) If a person is convicted of a violation of section 3252 (sexual assault) or 3253 (aggravated sexual assault) of this title and the victim is a child who has not attained the age of 12 years, the court shall hold a hearing at sentencing to determine whether to order the defendant to undergo pharmacological treatment to reduce the production and effects of testosterone, which may include treatment with medroxyprogesterone acetate or its chemical equivalent.
(b) The court may order the defendant to undergo pharmacological treatment only if, after the hearing, the court finds all of the following by a preponderance of the evidence:
(1) The treatment is not likely to impair the defendant’s capacity to work.
(2) The treatment is not likely to involve a permanent or irreversible alteration to the defendant’s body.
(3) The treatment is likely to prevent the defendant from committing further serious sex offenses against children.
(4) Without the treatment or incarceration, the defendant is likely to commit further sex offenses against children.
(5) There is no other less intrusive treatment or condition that is likely to prevent the defendant from committing further sex offenses against children.
(6) The court has fully informed the defendant about the potential benefits and harms associated with the pharmacological treatment, and the defendant voluntarily agrees to the treatment.
(c) At the hearing, any party may present evidence on the issues listed in subsection (b) of this section.
(d) If the court makes the findings under subsection (b) of this section and the court orders treatment, the court shall specify the amount and duration of the pharmacological treatment. The court may specify that the treatment is a condition of probation or may include in the sentence an order that the treatment shall be a condition of parole.
(e) If the court makes the findings under subsection (b) of this section but either the defendant does not consent to the treatment or the court does not choose the treatment, the court shall not order probation and shall sentence the person to a term of imprisonment according to the penalties authorized for the crime. The defendant shall not be eligible for parole with respect to that sentence.
(f) The department of corrections shall provide the services necessary to administer any pharmacological treatment ordered under this section. The department of corrections shall ensure that any treatment occurs either in a state correctional facility or in the presence of a probation and parole officer. If the department of corrections determines that the defendant has developed an adverse health condition as a result of the treatment, the department may petition the court to modify or rescind the order under this section. If the defendant decides he does not want to begin or continue treatment under this section, he shall inform the department of corrections, and the department of corrections shall not provide the treatment and shall begin procedures to revoke the probation and parole.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street