SB 130 Extends Support to Victims of Crime

On June 28, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 130 into law. This bill, written by State Senator Ellen Corbett and co-sponsored by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, expands the list of criminal charges for which a prosecuting witness may have a support person present while testifying.

Testifying in court can be a difficult and traumatic experience for some. Forced to confront their attackers in the unfamiliar environment of a courtroom, many crime victims may find that they need additional support. SB 130 acknowledges the difficulties that victims face in testifying, and goes some way towards ameliorating them.

“Governor Brown has taken a very important step in signing SB 130,” said District Attorney Nancy O’Malley. “In many types of criminal cases, crime victims and witnesses are entitled to the support of a victim-witness advocate while testifying in court. Before the passage of SB 130, California law denied this crucial support to some of the most vulnerable victims. With the passage of SB 130, victims of stalking and victims of sexual assault under the age of 10 are also entitled to these rights which were previously denied to them. I am grateful for the work that Senator Corbett and the San Diego District Attorney’s Office have on this legislation to extend these important protections to victims, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together.”

“This bill is long overdue,” opined San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. “Victims of these crimes deserve all the help we can give them and allowing a support person to accompany them as they face their attacker in court is just common sense,” stated D.A. Dumanis. “I applaud Senator Corbett for her leadership on this issue.”

Senator Ellen Corbett said “I am grateful that Governor Brown, as well as members on both sides of the aisle in the Legislature, recognized the critical importance of this bill that offers these reasonable accommodations to victims.”

The bill is supported by the California District Attorneys Association, Chief Probation Officers of California, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Child Abuse Prevention Center, Crime Victims United of California, Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the California Probation, Parole and Correctional Association.

Posted on Jun 28, 2013