Eye On Olympia

Batting one in...

After four years of watching every bill he proposed founder and die, Rep. John Ahern this week managed a victory.

The House of Representatives has passed his House bill 1453, which would erase any statute of limitations for first- and second-degree rape of a child. State law now makes it virtually impossible to prosecute such crimes after a decade or once the victim turns 21, whichever is later.

The bill is a slimmed-down version of Ahern's original version, which would have included many lesser sex crimes involving children. But after years of watching it die in committee, he said he'd take his victories where he could.

"I would rather get something than nothing," said Ahern, R-Spokane. "Now the perpetrator is going to be looking over their shoulder for the rest of their natural life."

His next project is another perennial statehouse casualty: a law making it a felony to repeatedly drive drunk.


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