House OKs bill to shield rape victims from retaliatory suits - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

House OKs bill to shield rape victims from retaliatory suits

Information provided by the Associated Press 

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A bid to require Louisiana courts to postpone slander lawsuits filed against people who allege they've been sexually assaulted is nearing final legislative passage.

Sen. J.P. Morrell, the New Orleans Democrat who sponsored the bill, has said perpetrators of sexual misconduct often use defamation lawsuits to try to prevent rape victims from moving forward with assault claims.

His proposal would require the delay of a slander lawsuit until all investigations and proceedings involving the assault claim are resolved.

The House voted 85-0 Friday for the measure. It heads back to the Senate for approval of House changes. The Senate earlier voted 29-8 for the bill.

Senators who voted against the proposal said they support the intent, but question if the legislation goes too far.

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