A sexual abuse survivor and advocate says Governor Rick Scott took a strong step Friday in signing a measure that would allow young victims to secretly record their attackers to use as evidence in court. It comes on the heels of a man acquitted of raping his stepdaughter, who inspired the bill.
According to Richard McDade’s stepdaughter, she was raped for six years until she was 16. Because of Florida’s two party-consent rule, the incriminating conversation she secretly taped was deemed illegal. And, in a new trial ordered by the Florida Supreme Court, he was acquitted Thursday and can no longer be tried for that particular case.
“I’m horrifically saddened and angry and on fire that this man has walked free,” said victims advocate Lauren Book. “One audio recording changed the trajectory of what happened here. And, this young survivor was denied justice again.”
Book says that’s why she’s glad the Governor’s final approval of the measure now means that at least future victims of sexual and physical abuse under the age of 18 can use secret recordings.
“You know, it’s really the only silver lining the fact the Governor signed this bill so that children now have a tool and the ability to be the own hero in their story,” added Book.
The new law takes effect July 1st.
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