Governor signs AB 1927,legislation sponsored by DA Nancy O’Malley

Governor Newsom signed legislation cosponsored by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to provide immunity for victims and witnesses of sexual assault from criminal prosecution for the illegal use of alcohol or drugs occurring at the time of the alleged assault. This bill, co-sponsored with the San Diego District Attorney’s office and authored by Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas), removes a barrier that might otherwise prevent or discourage victims of sexual assault from seeking justice.

“As District Attorney, I have made it my mission to empower survivors of sexual assault, and today the Governor has taken another step towards that goal,” said Alameda County District Attorney O’Malley. “We know that sexual assault cases are complicated and, in some instances, are intertwined with of drugs and/or alcohol. Survivors will now feel comfortable coming forward, knowing that they will not be charged with these low-level crimes. I want to thank Assemblymember Horvath for authoring and the Governor for signing this important legislation.”

AB 1927 follows in the footsteps of rules adopted by colleges nationwide to protect victims of sexual assault from separate disciplinary action related to drugs or alcohol at the time of the assault. This bill will prevent victims from undergoing the unnecessary trauma of testifying in order to be granted immunity, and hopefully encourage victims to come forward.
“The signing of AB 1927 sends a strong message to the thousands of victims of sexual assault who remained silent – we hear you, we understand your fears, and your stories are valid,” said Assemblymember Boerner Horvath. “For too long, our judicial system has placed unnecessary burdens on victims seeking justice.”

The bill enjoyed bipartisan support in both houses and did not receive any “no” votes throughout the legislative cycle.

Posted on Sep 29, 2020