CHAPTER 424

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 417

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 11 & 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CERTAIN CRIMES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each house thereof cancan-mg therein):

Section 1. Amend Section 502, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding immediately after the phrase "is a class F felony" as it appears in said section the phrase ", unless the person is eighteen years of age or older, and the other person had not yet reached his or her eighteenth birthday at the time of the crime, in which case it is a class D felony, or unless the person is more than three years older than the other person, and the other person had not yet reached his or her fifteenth birthday at the time of the crime, in which case it is a class D felony."

Section 2. Amend Section 503, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding immediately after the phrase "is a class E felony" as it appears in said section the phrase ",unless the person is eighteen years of age or older, and the other person had not yet reached his or her eighteenth birthday at the time of the crime, in which case it is a class C felony, or unless the person is more than three years older than the other person, and the other person had not yet reached his or her fifteenth birthday at the time of the crime, in which case it is a class C felony."

Section 3. Amend Section 1102(a), Title 11 of the Delaware Code by deleting the "." at the end of paragraph (3) of said subsection and substituting in lieu thereof "; or" and by adding new paragraphs (4), (5) and (6) to read as follows:

"(4) The person commits any violent felony, or reckless endangering second degree, assault third degree, terroristic threatening, or unlawful imprisonment second degree against a victim, knowing that such felony or misdemeanor was witnessed by a child less than 18 years of age who is a member of the person's family or the victim's family."

(5) The person commits the offense of Driving Under the Influence as set forth in Section 4177, Title 21 of the Delaware Code, or the offense of Operating a Vessel or Boat Under the Influence as set forth in Section 2302, Title 23 of the Delaware Code, and during the commission of the offense knowingly permits a child less than 18 years of age to be a passenger in or on such vehicle, vessel or boat.

(6) The person commits any offense set forth in Chapter 47, Title 16 of the Delaware Code in any dwelling, knowing that any child less than 18 years of age is present in the dwelling at the time."

Section 4. Amend Section 9002(5) of Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking the word "person" as it appears between the phrases "shall mean a" and "who is entitled by law" as they appear in said subsection, and by inserting in lieu thereof the phrase " any person, governmental instrumentality or private organization".

Section 5. Amend Section 9005 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subsection, said subsection to be designated as subsection "(8)," to read as follows:

"(8) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (7) of this section and paragraphs (3), (4) and (5) of section 9006(a) to the contrary, the Board may make an award for the payment of mental health counseling services pursuant to this chapter upon a claim made by the victim of any crime which occurred prior to the victim's eighteenth birthday so long as the occurrence of the crime is appropriately documented, and such claim is filed prior to the victim's twentieth birthday. The Board may also, upon good cause shown, permit a victim whose claim had previously been decided by the Board to request that such claim be reopened for the purpose of making an award for the payment for mental health counseling services, and the Board may reopen or reinvestigate the case and award such compensation, if such victim had not yet reached his or her eighteenth birthday by the date of the Board's original decision, and provided that the request for reopening is filed prior to the victim's twentieth birthday.

Section 6. Amend Section 9002(10), Title 11 of the Delaware Code by deleting the "." at the end of said subsection, and by adding a new phrase at the end of said paragraph, to read as follows•

", or any child who resides on a regular or semi-regular basis with any adult who is the victim or, or convicted of, any crime involving an act of domestic violence."

Section 7. Amend Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new section, said section to he designated as section "9020,", to read as follows:

"9020. Payment for child psychological assessments and short-term counseling.

(a) The costs of a psychological assessment done for the purposes of evaluating the mental health needs of a child victim may be paid from the Victim's Compensation Fund.

(b) The costs of short-term counseling, as defined by the Board, for the purposes of meeting the mental health needs of a child victim may be paid from the Victim's Compensation Fund.

(c) Any psychological assessment or counseling provided pursuant to this section shall be provided by a qualified mental health practitioner as determined by the Board. The Board shall authorize the repayment of reasonable expenses for a psychological assessment and/or short-term counseling. Such reimbursement shall not exceed a maximum amount to be determined by the Board, Any mental health practitioner performing a psychological assessment and/or short-term counseling pursuant to this section shall seek reimbursement for such services from the patient's insurance carrier, including Medicaid and Medicare, if available. If the mental health practitioner has recovered from insurance, the Board shall only provide compensation sufficient to total the maximum amount provided for in the Board's rules and regulations. Funding for psychological assessments and/or short-term counseling shall be available to the victim regardless of other health insurance resources which may exist."

(d) A parent or guardian acting on behalf of a child victim shall not pay any out-of-pocket costs associated with a psychological assessment or short-term counseling, and shall not 1w required to file an application with the Board. Notwithstanding other language in this chapter, all psychological assessments and short-term counseling expenses of child victims shall be paid for through the Victim's Compensation Fund and such payment shall be considered full compensation to the mental health practitioner providing such services.

(e) Nothing in this section shall preclude a victim from applying to the Board for other costs incurred.

(f) For the purpose of this section, "child victim" or "child" means any victim or person who had not yet reached his or her eighteenth birthday on the date of the commission of the crime."

Section 8. Amend Section 906(b)(3) of Title 16 of the Delaware Code by striking §1102" as it appears therein, and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§1102(a)(1), (2) or (3).

Approved July 13, 1998