Friday, February 13, 2009

Update On Statute Of Limitations Bill/Child Sex Abuse

I emailed Chris Marr, my state senator, telling him about my belief that we need a law in this state that eliminates the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases. Chris has been one of the champions for this issue, and has co-sponsored bills in the past.

Chris got right back to me. Here's what he said: "Thanks, Beth. Working with Sen. Jim Hargrove, I requested that the Sentencing Guidelines Commission evaluate the current statutes of limitations for child sex crimes. The resulting bill SB5832, which I co-sponsored, increases the statute to 28 years. It is a step towards eventual elimination of the time limit and I am hopeful we can pass it this year."

We all need to tell Chris Marr (6th district/Spokane) and Jim Hargrove (24th district/Port Angeles) that they are moving in the right direction. And we need to contact our own state senators and representatives to encourage them to support this bill as it begins.

I do think that elimination of the statute of limitations altogether is best (which is what the feds did for federal laws, back in 2006). I am also concerned that the proposed extension of the limitations - to age 28 - does not apply to the most serious charges (e.g., the ones that involve force or kidnapping) unless the victim reported the crime to the police within a year of the crime taking place. But at least by introducing a bill, Chris Marr and Jim Hargrove have created movement. Let's let them know that we support that movement, and also tell them of any changes we might want to the bill itself.

Here is a link to a website where you can find your state legislators. Email addresses for Chris Marr and Jim Hargrove are and You'll see the pattern of how to write an email address (last name first, then first name, then - system is the same for House members).

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