The CARE Act
, short for the Child Abuse Reform and Enforcement Act
, is a United States bill
aiming to "promote the improvement of information on, and protections against, child sexual abuse." Title II
of the act addresses a form of "charge bargaining" used in some states, that, at the prosecutor's discretion, allows an accused intrafamilial
child sex offender to be charged with "incest" alone, rather than "child sexual abuse
" or "rape of a child." "Incest" is punished less severely than child sexual abuse. Supporters of the Act see "incest exemptions," which have been given in the past
, as a legal loophole.
If passed, the CARE Act would equalize sentencing requirements for interfamilial and extra familial offenders.