CRIME

Cop: Bill to corroborate sex assault would shield pedophiles

A police officer says a New Hampshire bill that would require corroboration in sexual assault cases in which the defendant has no prior convictions amounts to the nation's "first pedophile protection act."

Concord police Sgt. Sean Ford spoke Tuesday in front of a House committee that's taking testimony on the bill.

Existing law doesn't require corroboration of a sex assault.

Republican Rep. William Marsh says he sponsored the bill after learning about the case of Foad Afshar, a New Hampshire psychotherapist who was convicted last year of molesting an underage client during a session. Afshar denies the allegations. His supporters say the change is key to ensuring innocent people aren't convicted.

Opponents say it will silence victims, particularly children, and allow predators to remain free.