Legislature Addresses Incest Loophole
In the state capital, a legislative committee has unanimously endorsed a bill intended to close a loophole in Montana law that allows 16 and 17-year-olds to be charged with incest involving a parent. The measure approved by the House Judiciary Committee on a unanimous vote Wednesday clarifies that a person who is younger than 18 cannot be charged with incest if the other person involved is at least four years older. The bill, sponsored by Helena Democratic Rep. Jenny Eck, now goes to the House floor.
The Montana Supreme Court suggested addressing the loophole in July while upholding a man’s conviction and life sentence for plying his 17-year-old daughter with drugs and having sex with her. Robin Turner with the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence said the law makes it more difficult for victims to come forward.