Voters will decide tomorrow whether someone can be convicted of child sexual abuse if it appears they might be capable of such a thing. Constitutional Amendment Two would make child sexual abuse the only crime in Missouri in which a prosecutor can use incidents where no charges were ever filed to show a defendant might be capable of doing the latest crime he or she is accused of doing.
Ballot information from the Secretary of State’s office. Official Ballot Title Constitutional Amendment 2 [Proposed by the 97th General Assembly (First Regular Session) HJR 16] Official Ballot Title: Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that it will be permissible to allow relevant evidence of prior criminal acts to be admissible in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age? If more resources are needed to defend increased prosecutions additional costs to governmental entities could be at least $1.4 million annually, otherwise the fiscal impact is expected to be limited.
Fair Ballot Language: A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to allow evidence of prior criminal acts, whether charged or uncharged, to be considered by courts in prosecutions of sexual crimes that involve a victim under eighteen years of age. The amendment limits the use of such prior acts to support the victim’s testimony or show that the person charged is more likely to commit the crime. Further, the judge may exclude such prior acts if the value of considering them is substantially outweighed by the possibility of unfair prejudice to the person charged with committing the crime. A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding the use of evidence of prior criminal acts to prosecute sexual crimes. If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.