BELTON — A new Texas law has its sights set on abusers who intimidate their victims into refusing to cooperate with police.

Stakeholders in family violence law learned about the new law, which will allow some hearsay evidence to be presented in family violence prosecutions if prosecutors can prove a victim refused to provide evidence after the offense because of intimidation from the defendant.

Texas Council on Family Violence Policy Director Aaron Setliff said the widely supported law was similar to forfeiture statutes for the seizure of assets of defendants accused of making money from their crimes, such as drug dealers.

But in this case, the ill-begotten benefits for abusers are the lack of testimony from victims or other witnesses, Setliff said.

“I’m relieved that this is codified now,” said Assistant Bell County District Attorney Anne Jackson. “It was a mechanism we were trying to use. It is a relief to me we now have some structure.”

See full story in Friday's Killeen Daily Herald.

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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