State Sen. Kristin Corrado announced she would introduce legislation requiring further education on handling sexual assault cases for the state’s judges.
“We need to ensure that judges and court personnel are better trained about what behavior is appropriate in cases involving allegations of sexual assault,” said Corrado, who is the only Republican woman in the Senate. “Because whatever training the courts are doing now, it clearly is not working. We still have judges making despicable comments from the bench that may make survivors think twice about pursuing justice.”
Two judges, James Troiano and Marcia Silva, have come under fire in the past week for comments they made during sexual assault trials.
Troiano refused to try a 16-year-old boy accused of raping a 16-year-old girl and sharing a video of the incident with school mates as an adult over worries that doing so would harm the alleged attacker’s future.
Silva declined to try a 16-year-old boy accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year old girl as an adult, ruling that the victim suffered no emotional, mental or physical harm past the loss of her virginity.
The state’s appeals courts reversed both rulings.
Corrado’s bill would require the judiciary to develop training courses for the state’s judges that would inform the handling, investigation and response procedures in sexual assault cases.
Similar trainings exist for domestic assault cases.
The law would require at least three hours of training on sexual assault and domestic violence cases.
“We’re going to make sure that judges get the training they need to treat the survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault with the respect they deserve,” Corrado said. “By legislating these requirements, we guarantee they become a permanent part of the training regimen that judges must go through on a continuing basis.”