Legislation allows prosecutors to target sexual predators
LANSING, Mich., Oct. 11, 2023 — State Rep. Sharon MacDonell (D-Troy) celebrated the unanimous passage of House Bills 4320 and 4387 during today’s session. The bills, known collectively as “Justice for Allie,” make it a crime to coerce a vulnerable adult into providing sexually explicit material of themselves.
“My colleagues and I have made it a priority this year to protect those who are at risk of exploitation and bring criminals to justice. These bills accomplish both those objectives,” MacDonell said. “I am proud to take up this important legislation — introduced by Republican Martin Howrylak and Democrat Padma Kuppa before me — and I’m thrilled my colleagues joined me in supporting it.”
The legislation was named for Allie Hayes, a young woman with Down syndrome. In 2017, a stranger contacted Allie online and manipulated her into sending him explicit photos of herself. When Allie’s parents, Dawn and Mark Hayes, attempted to press charges, they discovered that this action was not explicitly illegal. Since then, the Hayes family has sought to fill this glaring loophole in Michigan law.
“What happened to Allie and her family should never happen to another family. It is past time for law enforcement to have the tools to hold these predators accountable,” MacDonell said. “I will continue working with my counterparts in the Senate to get this legislation to the governor’s desk for her signature.”