HARRISBURG – The House of Representatives today took steps to strengthen protections for people with physical and intellectual disabilities by passing House Bill 2056
, authored by Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana).This bill would charge any individual who intentionally causes bodily injury to a person with a physical or intellectual disability with aggravated assault, a felony of the second degree. Currently, the law dictates that “serious bodily injury” is necessary for charges to be elevated beyond misdemeanor simple assault.
The bill would be known as Cody’s Law in honor of Cody Overdorff. Overdorff, who lives with William’s Syndrome, was lured and attacked by four individuals on Aug. 20, 2019, on the Hoodlebug Trail near Floodway Park.
“The need for this legislation was made abundantly clear after Cody Overdorffwas lured and ruthlessly beaten by a group of four people without provocation. While those responsible were arrested, they were only charged with misdemeanors due to the determined lack of serious bodily injury,” said Struzzi. “I believe individuals who target vulnerable and helpless victims pose a significant threat to our society and should be subject to harsher penalties under the law. I thank the House for their support of this critically important legislation, and I look forward to working with the Senate and the governor to get it signed into law.
The bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe
717.260.6419 (office), 610.937.4679 (cell)