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Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL MARK R. HERRING

~ On the Senate's failure to pass a bill to keep abusers, predators and harassers from hiding behind NDAs ~

 

 

RICHMOND (January 23, 2019) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring released the below statement following the Senate Courts of Justice Committee's failure to pass a bill which would have kept abusers, predators, and harassers from hiding behind non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). SB1423 would have created an important exemption to NDAs that would allow a victim to speak to law enforcement about criminal activity without violating or nullifying the non-disclosure agreement. Victims of abuse and harassment are often prevented, or feel prevented, from talking to law enforcement because of a non-disclosure agreement included in a settlement. That is how people like Harvey Weinstein, and certain Catholic parishes are alleged to have concealed their alleged behavior for so long. This “criminal conduct” exemption was a recommendation of the Pennsylvania Clergy Abuse Grand Jury. The bill failed this evening after the committee voted on essentially party lines.

 

"Failing to pass this legislation is inexcusable," said Attorney General Herring. "NDAs provide a way for sexual or violent abusers and harassers to hide behind the law when they have committed heinous crimes. By failing to pass this bill legislators are making it harder for victims to come forward and harder to identify and stop serial perpetrators. If harassment and abuse goes unchecked it can continue for years and I will not stop fighting until victims are given the ability to speak to law enforcement who can put a stop to it."

 

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