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State Senate bill would end time limit on prosecuting child rape

Snow falls and sticks to tree branches, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. A bill passed by a Senate committee Thursday would remove the statute of limitations from sex crimes like molestation of a child. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Snow falls and sticks to tree branches, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. A bill passed by a Senate committee Thursday would remove the statute of limitations from sex crimes like molestation of a child. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

OLYMPIA – Victims of child molestation and child rape would not run out of time before their assailants can be prosecuted, under a bill passed by a Senate committee Thursday.

Advocates of the bill say it would help victims who were abused as children and eventually bring their abusers to justice.

Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, said he supports removing the statute of limitations for sex crimes like child molestation.

“We had some concerns last year about opening it up for all the offenses,” he said. “But I think it’s pretty compelling, and it’s limited to the most serious of sex offenses.”

Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, said that although removing the statute for nonlethal crimes was unprecedented for the state, it was the right decision.

“This is the first time in state history where we’ll have a crime where no one has died where there’s not a statute of limitations,” he said. “But under these circumstances I think it’s appropriate.”

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