Mo. Lawmakers OK Measure Aimed at Child Sex Abuse
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri voters will be asked to amend the state Constitution to give prosecutors another implement in child sex abuse cases.
The House gave the measure final approval Friday on a 131-26 vote, clearing the way for its placement on a future statewide ballot.
The amendment would let prosecutors introduce evidence of a defendant's past crimes to corroborate a victim's testimony or to demonstrate an inclination to commit the alleged crime.
Such evidence would be limited to prosecutions of sex crimes involving victims younger than 18.
The state Supreme Court has ruled that evidence of past crimes violates the Missouri Constitution.
Proponents of the amendment, which was recommended by a special child abuse task force, says such evidence is already allowed in federal courts and by several other states.