SF 267 – Illegal practice of massage therapy
SF 267 makes it a crime for unlicensed individuals to practice massage therapy or hold themselves out as a massage therapist. Current Iowa law requires massage therapists in Iowa to be licensed. Unlicensed individuals cannot engage in massage therapy or holding themselves out in any way as a massage therapist or masseuse, or using any other word or title that implies the person is a massage therapist. This bill makes it a serious misdemeanor for an unlicensed person to engage in or hold themselves out at a massage therapist. Currently under Chapter 152C relating to the regulation of massage therapists, unlicensed individuals are only subject to a civil penalty. A serious misdemeanor is punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine. The Senate concurred with the House amendment that added language allowing for an affirmative defense to a charge of practicing massage therapy without a license if the defendant is a victim of human trafficking.
[4/22: 49-0 (Absent: Segebart)]
HF 224 – Lascivious conduct with a minor
HF 224 expands the crime of Lascivious Conduct with a Minor. Under the current Code section, it is unlawful for an adult who is in a position of authority over a minor (anyone under 18) to force, persuade or coerce a minor, with or without consent, to disrobe or partially disrobe for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either of them. It is punished as a serious misdemeanor.
For purposes of the new subsections, “minor” is defined as any person 14 or 15 years of age. The bill will make it unlawful for any adult who is in a position of authority over a minor (age 14 or 15) to do any of these behaviors listed below with or without consent for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either of them:
- Fondle or touch the inner thigh, groin, buttock, anus or breast of the minor.
- Touch the clothing covering the immediate area of the inner thigh, groin, buttock, anus or breast of the minor.
- Solicit or permit the minor to fondle or touch the inner thigh, groin, buttock, anus or breast of the person.
- Solicit the minor to do any of the following: fondle or touch the pubes or genitals of the minor; permit or cause the minor to fondle or touch the person’s genitals or pubes; or cause the touching of the person’s genitals to any part of the body of the minor.
Currently, those behaviors are only considered lascivious conduct when they occur with or to a child who is under age 14. This bill will ensure that these behaviors perpetrated against a 14 or 15 year old by a person who is in a position of authority over them will be punished appropriately.
Under the legislation, the behaviors are punishable as serious misdemeanors.
The bill also makes these behaviors punishable as aggravated misdemeanors if done for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either of them:
- Fondling or touching the pubes or genitals of the minor.
- Permitting or causing the minor to fondle or touch the person’s genitals or pubes.
- Causing the touching of the person’s genitals to any part of the body of the minor.
- Soliciting the minor to engage in a sex act or solicit a person to arrange a sex act with the minor.
- Inflicting pain or discomfort upon the minor or permitting the minor to inflict pain or discomfort of the person.
HF 569 – Personal degradation of a dependent adult
HF 569 adds a new category, Personal Degradation, to the definition of dependent adult abuse in Chapter 235B. There is currently a definition of dependent adult abuse that includes Personal Degradation in Chapter 235E, relating to caretakers who are staff members of a facility or program that provides care, protection or services to a dependent adult.
HF 569 applies to a caretaker with responsibility for protecting, caring for or having custody of a dependent adult as a result of assuming the responsibility voluntarily, by contract, through employment or by court order. Thus, a person who fits that definition of caretaker could commit personal degradation of a dependent adult under this bill. Personal degradation is defined as a “willful act or statement by a caretaker intended to shame, degrade, humiliate or otherwise harm the personal dignity of a dependent adult, or where the caretaker knew or reasonably should have known the act or statement would cause shame, degradation, humiliation, or harm to the personal dignity of a reasonable person.” This includes taking, transmitting or displaying an electronic image of a dependent adult by a caretaker, where the caretaker’s actions constitute a willful act or statement intended to shame, degrade, humiliate or otherwise harm the personal dignity of the dependent adult, or the caretaker knew or should have known the act would cause shame, degradation, humiliation or harm to the personal dignity of a reasonable person.
Personal degradation does not include taking, transmitting or displaying an electronic image of a dependent adult for reports to law enforcement, the Department of Human Services or another regulatory agency.
The Senate concurred with a House amendment that allows the department to determine if the abuse is a minor, isolated incident that is unlikely to reoccur and therefore not be included in the central dependent adult abuse registry and not considered to be founded dependent adult abuse. However, the department would maintain the assessment record for five years. Also, if there is a subsequent report of dependent adult abuse that meets the new definition and occurs within the five-year record retention period and is committed by the same caretaker, it will not be considered a minor, isolated occurrence unlikely to reoccur.
HF 681 – Background checks for working with children, elderly and disabled
HF 681 permits entities that provide care or care placement services to request a national criminal history record check by the FBI on covered individuals through the Department of Public Safety whose authority to do the criminal history checks is derived from authority it has pursuant to the National Child Protection Act. Covered individuals include those who may have access to children, the elderly or individuals with disabilities served by a qualified entity and who is employed by, volunteers with or seeks to volunteer with a qualified entity. Qualified entities can include a business or organization, whether public private, for-profit, nonprofit or voluntary that provides care or placement services. The covered individual will provide fingerprints, which will be submitted to the Division of Criminal Investigation to complete the national criminal history check. The Department of Public Safety will adopt rules to administer this Chapter.
[4/23: 49-0 (Absent: Petersen)]
HF 707 – Service of process in juvenile delinquency and parental rights
HF 707 provides that in juvenile delinquency proceedings and termination of parental rights proceedings, the service of summons or notice may be sent by email or other electronic means with the consent of the party to be served. Current law allows in-person service or service by certified mail. In the juvenile delinquency cases, notice will go to the juvenile and the parent or guardian. In termination of parental rights proceedings, notice will go to living parents of the child, a guardian of the child, custodian of the child, a guardian ad litem, the petitioner or the person standing in the place of the parents of the child. The Senate adopted an amendment requiring notice by electronic means in termination of parental rights proceedings be sent at least seven days prior to the hearing.
HF 719 – Conciliation related to dissolution of marriage
HF 719 provides that the court, on its own motion or upon the motion of a party, may require the parties to a divorce to participate in conciliation for 60 days or less. Under current law, a court must order conciliation and parties are required to participate in conciliation upon the application of the petitioner or the respondent. However, current law allows the court to waive the requirement only upon a showing of elder abuse or domestic abuse. This bill would make any conciliation requirement up to the discretion of the court.
[4/18: 49-0 (Absent: Mathis)]
HF 734 – Post-conviction DNA profiling procedures
HF 734 updates Iowa’s law regarding the ability of a defendant to pursue DNA testing after a conviction. Dozens of convicted individuals across the country have been exonerated through DNA testing. The technology has improved dramatically over the years and consequently DNA evidence can be tested with smaller evidentiary samples. Iowa’s law is written in such a way that it prohibits convicted defendants from obtaining updated DNA testing. This bill will allow defendants, under specified conditions, to apply for post-conviction DNA testing.