Legislation to remove the state’s statute of limitation for certain sexual crimes against minors passed off the House floor today.
“Childhood survivors sexual crimes have worked for years to change our state’s statute of limitations law, I am so proud that we worked together to get this bill done,” said Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond), sponsor of the legislation. “Our criminal justice system puts a unique burden on victims of these crimes. SB 5649 strikes a good balance of allowing victims time to process while holding offenders accountable” Dhingra continued.
“As a law enforcement officer, I have seen first-hand the long-lasting impact these crimes have on victims. One of the worst feelings in the world is having someone confide in you that they were sexually assaulted as a child, and then telling them the law prevents them from getting justice.
“It often takes years for victims of childhood sexual abuse to even acknowledge what has happened to them. We know that the effects of child sexual abuse can be devastating on victims. This bill says the state is taking this crime seriously. We have seen multiple accusations in public this year, but only a handful of victims have been able to seek justice for the crime due to the statute of limitations.”
SB 5649 would remove the evidentiary requirement that the victim clearly expressed their lack of consent by words or conduct to prove rape in the third degree. The legislation would also eliminate the statute of limitations for several crimes.
Having passed both the House and Senate, SB 5649 heads to the Governor’s desk for signature.