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Oregon Senate OKs more protection for stalking victims


The Oregon Senate voted unanimously Thursday to provide greater protection for stalking victims by clarifying current law and giving judges the authority to impose “reasonable residency restrictions” on people convicted of stalking or violating a stalking protective order.

Senate Bill 714 A also gives the state Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision the ability to impose such limitations.

SB 714 A, which now moves to the House for further consideration, is the result of a concept supported by Senators Jackie Winters (R-Salem) and Tim Knopp (R-Bend).

“Victims shouldn’t have to re-live the trauma of their victimization on a daily basis because of a statutory barrier,” Winters said. “SB 714 A adds another layer of protection for stalking victims.”

“This bill closes a gap in law that allows perpetrators to live next door to their victims,” Knopp said. “In certain cases, the court should have the ability to impose reasonable residency restrictions to allow stalking victims to be safe in their homes.”

Senate Republicans spokesman Jonathan Lockwood said Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) wanted to check with the courts to see if they were already doing this, but learned the courts felt they didn’t have the needed authority, which SB 714 A clarifies.

“The story is rooted in a case in Marion County, where a stalker lived across the street, but since he was in his own home and on his own property, they was nothing they could do,” Lockwood said.

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said he supported the measure and thanked Knopp for sponsoring it.

“This is a tool judges should have had long ago — great for Senator Knopp for identifying it,” he said.

Hummel noted the bill has a “provision that says a victim cannot move close to her stalker and then force him to move.”

“We see a similar situation develop where someone who has to register as a sex offender lives in an authorized residence, but then a school locates next door to him, forcing him to move. Then after he moves into a new house, a park is built next door, so he has to move again, and so on, and so on. Good that SB 714 proactively addressed this,” Hummel said.

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