Sexual assault victim wants new legislation - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Sexual assault victim wants new legislation

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By: Sabrina Ahmed 

After Michael Carnes was abused as a nine–year–old boy, his life was changed forever.  Now, he's taking a stand so no other children have to suffer the same way he did.

Carnes wants other victims to know the best thing they can do is get help.

"It's something that's going to follow you around for the rest of your life and it's something that's going to create a lot more problems than holding it back and keeping it a secret will solve," Carnes said.

Carnes was abused by an older boy in his community.  While that boy only had to go to counseling, he later assaulted a woman and went to jail for 5 years.

Carnes' goal is to help get legislation passed that requires schools to teach children about sexual assault, and have a policy to follow when teachers and administrators suspect a child is being sexually abused.

Carnes thinks, with the help of Attorney General Jon Bruning, they can make this happen.

"There are some things that are just important enough that we need to teach out kids about and I think this may be one of those," Bruning said.

Carnes also said he wants to see offenders behind bars longer.

Bruning said this is something he is very passionate about. and he said he also wants to see more done.

"We've made strides but there is still more to be done.  I think most Nebraskans would agree, anybody that does that to a child deserves severe punishment," Bruning said.

Carnes has been working with Senator Bloomfield of Hoskins.  The Senator introduced a bill in the Legislature Friday. 

The bill would give schools an option to adopt a sexual abuse policy as prescribed and would ask those who adopt it to teach students about sexual abuse.

Bruning said when he first came into office, some offenders just got probation. Now, he said with tougher laws, some perpetrators can go to prison for more than 25 years.

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