Holy sponsors extended statute of limitations legislation

Rep. Jeff Holy, R-Cheney, today introduced legislation aimed at extending the time child victims of sex crimes can bring their predators to justice.

House Bill 1352 would allow a child who was sexually abused to prosecute a suspect up until 10 years after the abuse, or the victim's 30th birthday, whichever is later. Previously, a statute of limitations for sex crimes with a minor were only allowed prosecution until the victim's 21st birthday.

“The greatest result of passing this bill would be the power of the victims in numbers. As one victim comes forward, we often see others have the courage to speak out as well,” Holy said. “Child victims of sex crimes are very manipulated, and giving them an opportunity to speak helps them find their voice and some self-esteem.”

Holy, an attorney, said there was some confusion in the current law with different age groupings for the statute of limitations.

“By setting different statute of limitations for different age groups, it was leading to some confusion for victims as to whether they could pursue legal action,” Holy said. “This makes it clear across the board that victims have until they are 30 to go after their perpetrators. I am hopeful we can get this bill passed by the Legislature and help victims to heal and move on with their lives.”

The legislation has a companion bill in the Senate, and awaits a public hearing in the House Public Safety Committee.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov