Now that Gov. Andy Beshear has signed into law a bill closing a loophole in the state’s criminal justice system, the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney signaled he plans to use it in a local high-profile case.Beshear signed into law House Bill 310 after it won unanimous support in the final days of the 2021 General Assembly. The new law aims at addressing a “crack in the system” when it comes to the competency of an individual.House Bill 310 gained support after Cane Madden, who is accused of assaulting and raping an 8-year-old girl in Louisville, was ruled incompetent to stand trial last month. Lawmakers said the new law would have a direct impact on the case.Here’s how state Sen. Morgan McGarvey described the loophole:“What we have noticed is there is a crack in the system,” McGarvey said during Monday’s legislative session. “If you are deemed incompetent to stand trial and you are not likely to respond to treatment, nothing happens, you’re let go. And so what we have noticed is if you are incompetent to stand trial and you’re not likely to get better, but you’ve particularly been accused of a violent sexual offense and you have a history, your history is irrelevant and we do not hold you, even if you are a danger to yourself or someone else.”Because Madden was ruled incompetent to stand trial, he could again walk free.Now, with the new law, prosecutors can petition to have the suspect involuntarily committed if they are still a danger to others. Officials would be required to follow up to make sure treatment is still necessary.The prosecutor in Jefferson County said he will use that mechanism in the Madden case.The version of House Bill 310, passed Monday, includes an amendment that would allow victims of attempted assault to file a restraining order.Madden was charged with first-degree rape, assault and robbery in the 2019 attack on the girl. A Louisville police arrest citation says officers responded to a report of a girl beaten and robbed of her iPad and found her with a fractured skull and injuries indicating sexual assault.Madden was ruled mentally incompetent months earlier on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman and bit off part of her face in 2017. He has had several cases dismissed due to incompetency and was set free because he didn’t meet Kentucky’s criteria for involuntary hospitalization.Prosecutors have said they are petitioning again to have Madden involuntarily hospitalized.

Now that Gov. Andy Beshear has signed into law a bill closing a loophole in the state’s criminal justice system, the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney signaled he plans to use it in a local high-profile case.

Beshear signed into law House Bill 310 after it won unanimous support in the final days of the 2021 General Assembly. The new law aims at addressing a “crack in the system” when it comes to the competency of an individual.

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House Bill 310 gained support after Cane Madden, who is accused of assaulting and raping an 8-year-old girl in Louisville, was ruled incompetent to stand trial last month. Lawmakers said the new law would have a direct impact on the case.

Here’s how state Sen. Morgan McGarvey described the loophole:

“What we have noticed is there is a crack in the system,” McGarvey said during Monday’s legislative session. “If you are deemed incompetent to stand trial and you are not likely to respond to treatment, nothing happens, you’re let go. And so what we have noticed is if you are incompetent to stand trial and you’re not likely to get better, but you’ve particularly been accused of a violent sexual offense and you have a history, your history is irrelevant and we do not hold you, even if you are a danger to yourself or someone else.”

Because Madden was ruled incompetent to stand trial, he could again walk free.

Now, with the new law, prosecutors can petition to have the suspect involuntarily committed if they are still a danger to others. Officials would be required to follow up to make sure treatment is still necessary.

The prosecutor in Jefferson County said he will use that mechanism in the Madden case.

The version of House Bill 310, passed Monday, includes an amendment that would allow victims of attempted assault to file a restraining order.

Madden was charged with first-degree rape, assault and robbery in the 2019 attack on the girl. A Louisville police arrest citation says officers responded to a report of a girl beaten and robbed of her iPad and found her with a fractured skull and injuries indicating sexual assault.

Madden was ruled mentally incompetent months earlier on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman and bit off part of her face in 2017. He has had several cases dismissed due to incompetency and was set free because he didn’t meet Kentucky’s criteria for involuntary hospitalization.

Prosecutors have said they are petitioning again to have Madden involuntarily hospitalized.

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