FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2001
Contact: Rep. Colleen Meyer
The State House Republican Caucus has released the following statement:
House Republicans expressed outrage today that Democratic colleagues failed to demand a special session. Republicans say the session is needed to override the Governor's refusal to protect Hawaii's 14 and 15-year-old children by raising age of consent.
"Last week, House Democrats supported a special session to override the Governor's veto. It's outrageous for them to back off in the face of pressure from the Governor and Senate. We need Democrats to override the Governor's veto," said Rep. Colleen Meyer (R-Kahaluu, Laie). "The only reason we are not in special session right now is because Democrats won't reverse their own Governor. How can Democrats be more concerned with offending the Governor than with protecting our 14 and 15 year olds? It makes no sense!"
"The Governor's concerns regarding the penalties are absurd," said Meyer. "An 18 year old having sex with a 13 year old is a class A felony, just the same as a 19 year old having sex with a 14 year old should be. There is no change in the penalty."
Meyer also said it's incorrect that under the proposed bill, penalties for an 18-year-old having sex with a 14-year-old goes into effect when the young adult reaches 19. "The age difference between the two doesn't change--it's either five years (and subject to the law) or it isn't," she said. "Also since plea bargaining is part of the judicial process, cases involving young adults often will plea down to a class C, which removes them from sex offender status."