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Elderly and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act (SB 1230)

An elderly adult is a person 65 years of age or older. A vulnerable adult is a person 18 years or older who, because of mental or physical disability is unable to fully manage the person's own resources, to carry out all or a part of activities needed for day to day life, or is unable to protect against neglect, exploitation, hazardous, or abusive situation without assistance from others. As of July 1, 2017, it is an offense for a person to knowingly abuse an elderly or vulnerable adult. With the knowledge of abuse, the offense of aggravated abuse goes a step beyond ordinary abuse, by one of the following in addition ti knowledge: (1) an act that results in serious psychological injury to physical harm, (2) a deadly weapon used to accomplish the act, (3) the abuse was committed by two or more person, or (4) the abuse results in serious bodily injury. It is an offense for a caregiver to knowingly neglect an elderly adult or vulnerable adult, so as to adversely affect the person's health or welfare. A caregiver commits the offense of aggravated neglect of an elderly or vulnerable adult who commits neglect, and the act (1) results in serious psychological injury or serious physical harm, or (2) results in serious bodily injury. Moreover, it is an offense to sexually or financially exploit an elderly adult or vulnerable adult.

This bill requires any person having reasonable cause to suspect that an elderly or vulnerable adult is suffering or has suffered abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or sexual exploitation to report same to adult protective services. Any person who knowingly fails to report commits a Class A misdemeanor. Furthermore, the bill requires the Secretary of State to create a no-solicitation list specifically for elderly or vulnerable adults. Lastly, in cases where a crime has been committed against an elderly adult or vulnerable adult, the State may file a motion for the court to conduct a hearing to preserve the testimony of the victim within sixty days of the defendant's initial court appearance. Exceptional circumstances, such as mental or physical disability, which make the victim unavailable for court proceedings will be considered. The convicted person is allowed to request a hearing to challenge the accuracy of any doctor reports, conclusions of the hearing, or factual issues related to the correct identity of the victim.

The bill was proposed in February 2017, and assigned to a companion bill in June 2017.

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