"An Act creating the crimes of harassment in the first and second degree, amending the crime of stalking, and adding a definition of 'medical professional' to the assault and harassment statutes. "
"HB 343 is aimed at helping to protect the protectors and responders on the front line of public safety in Alaska."
- Rep. Lynn
Assaulting any person with dangerous bodily fluids - such as feces, urine, semen, saliva or blood - is beyond disgusting, and is an assault that raises the specter of infectious disease, and should clearly be a more egregious crime than mere harassment. Obviously, correctional officers, law enforcement, and first responders are at greatest risk.
Currently, most assaults with bodily fluids can be charged only as a class B misdemeanor. The potential penalty for such an outrageous attack is no different than that imposed for shoplifting lip gloss, or writing a bad check for $25.
HB 343 creates the crime of harassment in the first degree for anyone who subjects another person to offensive physical contact with human or animal bodily fluids, and classifies that crime as a class A misdemeanor. The bill also redesignates the existing crime of harassment as harassment in the second degree.
HB 343 also provides a minimum term of imprisonment of 60 days for persons convicted of harassment in the first degree when they direct the offense at certain specified law enforcement officers and emergency responders.
Inmate assault by bodily fluids is being increasingly recognized across the nation. Twenty-six states have now enacted laws to help address the problem. In fact, 19 states classify these assaults as a felony. If, in the committee process, a practical means of increasing the crime beyond a class A misdemeanor can be determined, I would support an appropriate amendment to make it possible.
In summary, HB 343 is aimed at better protecting everyone, but especially the protectors and responders on the front line of public safety in Alaska. Your favorable consideration of this bill is respectfully requested.