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Huckleberries Online

Bill would end statute of limitations on rape of a child by adult

Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin and Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard enjoy some quality time with a cat at the shelter.

OLYMPIA – Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin was among victims of child sexual abuse urging the Legislature on Wednesday to drop the statute of limitations that they say shields pedophiles from justice.

“It took me years to be able to call what happened to me between age 10 and 18 rape,” said McLaughlin , who told members of the House Public Safety Committee about years of sexual abuse by her father. “You shouldn’t lose the ability to bring about justice just because some years have elapsed.”

Michael Ross, of Spokane, the founder of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said some victims of child sexual abuse don’t come to grips with what happened to them until they are in their 40s or 50s. Current law protects pedophiles by requiring a victim of a child rape to report before turning 29, said Ross, who told the committee he was abused by a Catholic priest in his teens but repressed that memory until he was 47.

McLaughlin and Ross were among supporters of House Bill 1657, a proposal by Rep. John Ahern, R-Spokane, to lift the statute of limitations for any rape of a minor by an adult. Jim Camden/SR

Do you think the statute of limitations for the rape of a minor by an adult should be lifted?


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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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