‘Tainted coffee’ bill goes back to House committee

Published 9:14 am Tuesday, March 24, 2015

By Doug Belden

St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL — A bill that would make it a crime to add blood, semen, saliva or other substances into something a person is going to eat or drink was debated on the House floor Monday night but sent back to committee.

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Among the concerns were that the bill might in some cases treat horseplay, particularly involving saliva, as a serious crime.

Bill sponsor Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, who is a prosecutor, agreed to work on the bill in committee.

“I think it’s a serious issue, and I think it warrants serious discussion,” Hilstrom said.

An incident last summer at a hardware store in New Brighton helped make clear that state statute hadn’t specifically contemplated this type of misbehavior.

A Blaine man was charged with two gross misdemeanors after he admitted ejaculating onto the desk and into the coffee cup of a woman he worked with.

But a Ramsey County judge threw out the charges, saying the crime would have required nonconsensual touching of the victim’s intimate parts.

The suspect was later charged by the city of New Brighton with a misdemeanor count of engaging in lewd or indecent behavior. Those charges are pending.

Under the bill, placing bodily fluids in a substance intended for human consumption would be a misdemeanor.