LANSING, Mich. — Today Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. (D–East Lansing) introduced Senate Bill 1027, which would ban registered sex offenders from working in organizations that directly serve survivors of sexual assault. Under current law, sex offenders can legally volunteer at crisis intervention and sexual assault counseling centers, a practice this bill would prevent.

“Survivors have already had their trust and safety violated,” Sen. Hertel said. “They deserve a safe place to seek help, and they deserve advocates who will truly work in their best interests.”

This legislation was crafted in response to last week’s report of three sex offenders having served at The Listening Ear, a Lansing nonprofit that runs a crisis hotline for victims of sexual assault.

The Listening Ear’s coordinator, the public face of the organization, was convicted in 1995 of two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, including a sex assault charge involving a person younger than 13. The other two volunteers’ convictions included a 1984 count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and a 2010 count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving personal injury.

“Most organizations work hard to protect the sanctity of the services they provide,” Sen. Hertel said. “But this legislation will make that job easier. It is never appropriate for registered sex offenders to work with survivors of sexual assault or children.”

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