Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg is scheduled to testify in Austin Tuesday before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, as it considers protecting victims of rape and other crimes from being jailed as witnesses when they themselves have not been charged with a crime.
Senate Bill 291 is a response to the jailing of a mentally ill Harris County rape victim known by the pseudonym Jenny.
Jenny was jailed in 2016 by prosecutors who were part of the previous Harris County District Attorney’s Office administration.
The bill requires due process for victims, including having access to a lawyer and a hearing in open court.
Ogg plans to ask that legislation reforming how the state handles material witnesses be referred to as “Jenny’s Law.”
“In Jenny’s case, the rapist had more rights than the victim. That should never again be permitted,” Ogg said.
“It was not fair to Jenny and it would not be fair to anyone’s daughter. We can’t let this happen again,” she said.
The hearing is scheduled to convene after the Senate adjourns for the day Tuesday.
Testimony will be live at this link http://www.senate.texas.gov/av-live.phphttp://www.senate.texas.gov/av-live.php