LANSING — With her first legislative effort, state Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) introduced a bill today that aims to protect vulnerable adults from acts of coercion against them. House Bill 4076 would establish penalties for individuals who take advantage of a person’s vulnerable status to pressure them into providing sexually explicit visual material. Rep. Kuppa reached across the aisle to seek co-sponsors for her legislation, which was previously introduced by Republican representatives in September of 2018.

“It is our job as elected officials to protect all Michiganders – especially the most vulnerable among us,” Kuppa said. “This issue is important to the people of my community, which is why I developed a plan to provide much-needed protections to prevent these acts from happening and hold individuals accountable when they do.”

Technological advancements, including smartphones and social media, have created another channel through which these harmful interactions can take place, yet there is no current law in Michigan that addresses this growing issue. The bill defines “vulnerable adults” as including seniors and individuals with physical or mental disabilities. HB 4076 calls for violations of this law to result in a misdemeanor offense which would be punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 93 days in jail.