Holy’s first bill signed into law to provide justice for victims of sex crimes
Today marked an important day for victims of sex crimes as children. After several years of fighting for more time to bring their offenders to justice, the governor today signed into law a bill to do just that. It also marked the first bill signed into law for freshman lawmaker Rep. Jeff Holy, R-Cheney.
“This was an important bill for victims – it puts their rights before the rights of sex predators,” Holy said. “Sometimes victims simply need more time to sort through what happened and put their lives back together before they can face their abusers. I'm honored to have a part in this legislation and carry the torch on this important issue.”
House Bill 1352, which was passed by both the House and Senate unanimously, will extend the statute of limitations for victims of sex crimes as children to have more time to prosecute against those who raped or molested them. Holy says it will do more than just that.
“These predators often don't just abuse one person, it's a pattern we see. So having this in law will hopefully act as a deterrent for future crimes and also empower other victims to come forward,” said Holy.
Present for the bill signing was Jenny Graham, a victim of sex crimes perpetrated by her father during her adolescence.
“This is a great day; I am so grateful to Representative Holy, and his predecessor former Representative Ahern, for doing what it took to give victims more time to speak out,” Graham said. “I want to thank every lawmaker, Democrat and Republican, who voted for this legislation and on the side of victims.”
Former Rep. John Ahern was present for the bill signing as well. Ahern had sponsored similar legislation in his 10 years representing the 6th District.
“This was part of my unfinished business as a state legislator, so I am pleased to see this legislation become law,” Ahern said. “I believe strongly this law will act as a deterrent to sex offenders and make a difference in our state.”
With the governor's signature, the new law will go into effect July 1, 2013.
###Washington State House Republican Communications