Arizona Supreme Court rules in controversial child molestation l - Tucson News Now

Arizona Supreme Court rules in controversial child molestation law

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Arizona Supreme Court upheld the state's child molestation law, which does not include a clause requiring the touching done with intent to harm, violate or arouse. 

The law defines child molestation as intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual contact with a child under 15. Sexual contact is defined as "any direct or indirect touching, fondling or manipulating" of private parts or genitals. 

The Arizona Supreme Court upheld the law 3-2, following a case of an Arizona man who appealed his conviction of sexually molesting a child.  

The dissenting judges stated "Parents and other caregivers who have changed an infant's soiled diaper or bathe a toddler will be surprised to learn that they have committed a Class 2 or 3 felony."

Jasmine May, a Tucson parent said this law should be rewritten. 

"It's concerning if the things we have to do everyday as parents can be construed as doing something shady or illegal or harming our child. It's just unfortunate," May said. 

Amelia Cramer, Pima County  chief deputy attorney said the law states that the state has to prove the touching was inappropriate and well as intentional. 

"The statute is very clear. Although sexual motivation is a defense, it's not a part of what the state has to prove. The state has to prove the touching was knowing or intentional and that it was basically an inappropriate touching of a child," Cramer said. 

Cramer said they haven't had problems with this law in the past. 

"We continue to prosecute aggressively individuals who inappropriately touch children and violate them. But we would never prosecute a parent, or a caregiver, or doctor for appropriately touching an infant or toddler while changing their diapers," Cramer said. 

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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