A bill to criminalize sexual contact between teachers and students who are above the age of consent continues to progress in both the Georgia House and Senate.

Two House bills and a Senate bill all have been filed to seek to close what legislators describe as a loophole in the law created by a Georgia Supreme Court ruling in 2009.

The high court’s opinion in an Augusta case said a lower court erred by not considering the consent of the victim as a defense to sexual assault, causing prosecutors across the state, including Floyd County, to drop criminal charges against teachers accused of having consensual sexual contact with students.

The proposed changes in the sexual assault law would remove the consent defense, even if the student has reached the age of consent, 16.

House Bill 897 is sponsored by State Rep. Doug Collins R-Gainesville and Senate Bill 300 is sponsored by State Sen. Ronald Ramsey Sr. D-Lithonia.

The sponsor of another similar House Bill, Kevin Levitas D-Atlanta, is also listed as a co-sponsor on HB 897.

RNT