The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed a bill aimed at protecting inmates from sexual assault.
The bill was filed in response to a case in which a deputy sheriff had sex with a female inmate he was transporting to prison. He was convicted of rape under a law that prohibits sex between prisoners and those with director authority over them, but the state Supreme Court overturned his conviction because he was employed by the county sheriff, not the prison or jail.
The bill that passed the House on Thursday clarifies the law to apply to include those who are responsible for maintaining custody of inmates. Supporters say rape is never part of a prisoner's sentence, and passage of the bill will ensure inmates are protected from assault.
The bill now goes to the Senate.