State Senator John Proos has signed on as a co-sponsor to legislation that would increase the penalties for assaulting a person with a developmental disability. Proos says all Michigan residents deserve to live with respect and dignity.
“We would put into place stronger legislation, stronger penalties for those who willingly harm and individual who really cannot take care of themselves, or often times have difficulty taking care of themselves,” Proos said.
According to the Arc, a group that advocates for the developmentally disabled, researchers have found people with intellectual disabilities have a 4 to 10 times greater chance of becoming victims of crime. Under the bills, a first offense for someone convicted of knowingly assaulting a person with a developmental disability would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Subsequent offenses would result in felony charges punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.