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Rep. Scott Biggs has filed over 40 bills, but one of the first that he filed for the 2017 Legislative Session is an act relating to crimes and punishments for rape in the first or second degree.

According to the summary of the bill House Bill 1005 will make a crime of rape by instrumentation a first degree felony where in the past it was considered a second degree charge.

The difference of first degree carries a minimum sentence of five years and a max of life, while second degree is a minimum of one year to 15 years max.

HB 1005 was created because Biggs said he saw a loophole created by the courts and it was fixed last legislative session, but this bill will clean up some language which had an issue come up late in the session last time around.

“This bill is a cleanup and a issue was brought up real late into the game last year in which rape second degree is still a rape but not punished appropriately,” Biggs said. “House Bill 1005 updates some of our sexual assault laws.”

Biggs said safety of the citizens is a top priority in this bill and it is important to bring this up at this time so the court system won’t let the victims of crimes down.

“There is an equal number of us that want to make sure that we put the safety of our citizens at the highest priority, and that is what exactly bill does,” Biggs said. “I have examples of cases, specifically a couple in Tulsa County, cases in which it is actually egregious what this victim went through and how she feels the court system let her down because the court felt there hands were tied because of our outdated sexual assault laws.”

If the bill is passed it will modify elements of first and second degree rape and will give an effective date of Nov. 1, 2017.

The main changes to the laws will be amending 21 O.S. 2011, Section 1114 in the Oklahoma Statues and deleting some verbiage in the statue to line up with other states.

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