Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 2181




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2020

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2181 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to amend the offenses of sexual assault in the first and third degree, when perpetrated against someone who is mentally defective, to remove the standard of proof regarding knowledge that the other person was mentally defective, as that term is defined in section 707‑700, Hawaii Revised Statutes.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of the County of Kauai, and one individual.


Your Committee finds that mentally disabled persons need additional protection from sexual predators. Among adults who are developmentally disabled, as many as eighty-three percent of the females and thirty-two percent of the males are victims of sexual assault. Your Committee further finds that anywhere from fifteen thousand to nineteen thousand people with developmental disabilities are sexually assaulted each year in the United States. Forty percent of people with developmental disabilities who are victims of sexual violence will experience ten or more abusive incidents. Your Committee additionally finds that mentally disabled persons and developmentally disabled persons have limited, if any, capacity to give knowing and willing consent to sexual acts. This inability to consent closely parallels the inability of certain minors and prison inmates to consent, therefore, your Committee finds that a need exists to extend protection to mentally disabled persons who similarly lack the capacity to consent to sexual acts.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2181 and recommends that it pass Third Reading.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,