PA reps seek to strengthen hate crime laws following attacks on those with disabilities

With disturbing incidents captured on video of late, two state lawmakers are seeking stiffer penalties for criminals who attack people with disabilities.

“I think there has to be stronger penalties for committing such horrendous crimes,” Audrey Coccia of Vision for Equality told Fox 29.

Audrey Coccia watched the recent videos in horror. She's the head of a non-profit in Philly that helps people with disabilities and their families. She also has an adult child with disabilities. Audrey's concern is that the perpetrators will get off with a slap on the wrist.

“We don't need disabled people living in fear of being targeted,” PA House Representative Becky Corbin (R) said. “It needs prosecution. The full force of the law.”

Rep. Becky Corbin, who represents Chester County, and PA State Senator Tom Killion (R), who represents Chester and Delaware counties, along with Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the introduction of new legislation that expands hate crime laws in Pennsylvania to include people with disabilities.

“This law would give prosecutors and police a tool a tool to punish appropriately these predators who prey on the most vulnerable victims,” D.A. Hogan said.

“It will raise the maximum sentence from two years to five years,” Senator Killion explained. “And send a clear message: we won't tolerate this type of behavior.”

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