Senator Henry Stern’s Bill to Protect Child Victims of Sexual Violence Signed by Governor Brown

Measure providing assistance to forgotten victims of abuse signed into law after receiving bi-partisa​n support in the Senate and Assembly

July 24, 2017

SACRAMENTO – State Senator Henry Stern’s SB 756, which will provide restitution for mental health services to young sexual abuse victims, has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown after receiving unanimous approval from members of both the State Assembly and Senate. SB 756 is the freshman Senator’s first measure sent to the Governor and signed into law.

In 2014, 15 victims were molested by their soccer coach in LA County and last year several of the victims were unable to receive restitution. Right now, there are approximately 700 cases pending in LA County alone that could be eligible for restitution under SB 756.

“Our kids deserve better. Victims of sexual violence are being denied justice under our current system,” remarked Senator Stern. “SB 756 will assist kids in getting the help they deserve. I applaud Governor Brown for signing this important measure into law.”

SB 756, co-sponsored by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office (LADA) and the Crime Victims Action Alliance, is supported by law enforcement and district attorneys throughout the state. It closes a loophole in the law that prevents many young victims of sexual assault from receiving restitution that would cover mental health services necessary to treat psychological trauma.

"I commend Senator Stern for authoring this important measure to grant child sexual abuse victims the right to recover restitution for necessary mental health treatment," said Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten. "While SB 756 has been characterized as a “small fix,” – in truth – it represents a huge step for victims’ rights and thousands of child victims."

“The children we are talking about have suffered some of the most heinous crimes imaginable,” said Jonathan Hatami, Deputy District Attorney with the Complex Child Abuse Section of the LADA. “These are victims who go on to suffer from reoccurring nightmares, difficulty sleeping, an inability to maintain a job or complete their education; it takes them a lifetime to recover and we, as a society, should do everything we can to help them.”

“With SB 756, the perpetrator will be directly responsible for paying noneconomic restitution directly to child victims so they can receive therapy and emotional support,” concluded Mr. Hatami.

Senate Bill 756 was signed by the Governor on July 21, 2017 and goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

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Contact: Morgan.Culbertson@sen.ca.gov       ​Phone: (805) 822-9694

Henry Stern is Chair of the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, and the first millennial elected to the California State Senate. Senator Stern also serves on four additional key committees: Energy, Utilities and Communications, Environmental Quality, Judiciary, and Natural Resources and Water. He represents nearly 1 million residents of the 27th Senate District, which includes Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Malibu, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, part of Santa Clarita and the following Los Angeles communities: Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Porter Ranch, Reseda, Tarzana, West Hills, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills.