Foote’s Expansion of Rape Shield Law Passes House

(March 26) – The House gave strongly bipartisan approval today to Rep. Mike Foote’s bill to expand protections for sexual assault victims.

Victims of sexual assault should not be made to feel attacked a second time in our courts. HB18-1243, sponsored by Rep. Foote, D-Lafayette, with Rep. Cole Wist, R-Centennial, would ensure that defendants in civil sexual assault lawsuits can’t smear the reputation of a victim.

In Colorado’s criminal statutes, the sexual history of a plaintiff in a sexual assault case can be included as evidence only in very limited circumstances and only when found relevant by a judge. The bill would require the same for civil cases.

“It’s about time that our civil law mirrors criminal law in this area,” Rep. Foote said. “If something isn’t relevant for a criminal case, it shouldn’t be relevant for a civil case either.”

The House’s 61-0 vote sent HB18-1243 to the state Senate.

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