State Rep. Ed Coppinger filed nine bills ranging from legislation aimed at child sex abuse offenders, to raising the dropout age.
Coppinger, D-West Roxbury, filed an act regarding domestic abuse on behalf of Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley and the Massachusetts Association of District Attorneys, according to a press release.
The legislation would help prosecutors crack down on domestic abuse by increasing penalties for abusers, make strangulation a crime, and create a DNA database for felons.
“When Dan (Conley) asked me to help on this legislation, I knew it was a no brainer. We passed a comprehensive crime bill this past year, but I believe this legislation adds a few elements that were missing from last year’s bill,” said Coppinger.
“The sad truth is that domestic violence affects victims from every walk of life, and Representative Coppinger is speaking up for those victims with this strong and sensible legislation. Repeat offenders should face harsher penalties, and they shouldn’t be allowed to pressure their victims into waiving the right to pursue criminal charges. I appreciate Representative Coppinger’s leadership on this important issue, and I look forward to working with him on this legislation,” said Conley, a West Roxbury resident, via press release.
With state Rep. Carlos Henriquez, D-Boston, Coppinger refiled a home rule petition on behalf of Boston to allow Boston to raise the dropout age to 18. The dropout age is set by the Commonwealth, so Boston must ask the state legislature permission to raise the 16-year-old mark the state set. City Councilors Tito Jackson and John Connolly have fought to raise the dropout age to 18.
“Education is John’s (Connolly) primary focus and we worked closely on this legislation last year, but without success. We are hoping to get traction on this bill this time around. I believe that increasing the dropout age to 18 is an important part of making sure that kids across the city have the skills necessary to succeed in college or to find a good paying job,” said Coppinger.
Coppinger also filed bills to remove the statute of limitations on child sex abuse, allowing child sex abusers to be prosecuted anytime.
“I don’t think anyone who abused a child sexually should be able to hide from the law just because it happened a certain number of years ago. Many victims are so affected that they do not have the confidence to come forward until many years after the incident. This bill sends the message to anyone who abuses children that their evil will not go unpunished,” said Coppinger.
During the next year and a half, committees will hold public hearings on legislation filed, including by Coppinger.