A measure that would eliminate and extend the statute of limitations on several sex offenses against children cleared the state House of Representatives Wednesday. Washington House Republicans’ John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.
SATTGAST: For Representative Dan Griffey, this issue is personal. As a child, his wife was sexually abused for many years by a stepfather.
GRIFFEY: “And he’d get really drunk, and he would get really gropey with her. And which she didn’t like, but she didn’t think was a big deal. I mean, this is her step-dad. Maybe that’s what happens in loving families. She didn’t — had never had a dad before. But then one night, he got really drunk and he very violently sexually assaulted her and those sexual assaults continued on for years.”
SATTGAST: It was bad enough that she lived through that, but some 20 years later, Griffey said his daughter became a victim of another perpetrator.
GRIFFEY: “Our daughter was raped and left for dead in Anchorage, Alaska. And the pain that I felt was terrible. But the pain and the shame that my wife felt, by thinking that she didn’t do enough to protect our daughter — we’ll never get over in our family.
SATTGAST: House Bill 1231 would end the statute of limitations for sex crimes involving children – eight sex crimes – to be specific. And it would lengthen the statute of limitations for other crimes.
Griffey says victims often don’t come forward for years because of the shame and the blame. He’d like to end the statute of limitations for all sex crimes. But he says this bill is a big leap in the right direction to give prosecutors and law enforcement the tools they need to put away these monsters, so they can do no more harm to others.
The bill now heads to the Senate.
John Sattgast, Olympia.