Rep. Dan Griffey targets statutes of limitation on sex crimes
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Powerful testimony in Olympia Tuesday, as a Washington firefighter and 35th District House Republican faces fellow lawmakers in committee, and asks them to drop the statutes of limitation on sex crimes. Ruth Johnson reports from Olympia.
Griffey: “This chart right here is criminal.”
Johnson: That is Dan Griffey, a Republican in the House. He is standing next to a list of crimes where victims have little to no recourse.
Griffey: “We shouldn't have a chart that looks like that.”
Johnson: Griffey, who is in his second year as a lawmaker, wants to see an end to the statutes of limitation on sex crimes like rape, rape of child, and child molestation.
Soon the public testimony began.
Christina Marie Wright: “My friends and I listened to the same music, we shopped at the same stores, and we were abused by the same man.”
Dinah Griffey: “I no longer felt safe at home. I was being hunted. Anytime I was alone, it could happen.”
Christina Marie Wright: “My friends and I talked about how he touched us. We hated it. It made us feel dirty and ashamed.”
Johnson: They testified how the understanding about their own victimization came only after healing began. And that was after the statutes of limitation had already run out.
Griffey says the law must be clear.
Griffey: “It should say: if you sexually abuse someone in Washington state, and the prosecution can bring a case, that they can bring that case at any time. Yeah.”
Johnson: Detractors say it's too hard to prosecute old cases. The inability, they say, to get a conviction can actually re-wound a victim.
Many who've survived the abuse disagree.
Dinah Griffey: “Tell these criminals their crimes have no expiration date. If they commit a sex crime in Washington state, they will never be safe from prosecution…ever.”
Johnson: The bill has been moved forward to executive session Friday.
Ruth Johnson, Olympia.
Hear testimony here: https://soundcloud.com/wahousegop/griffey-sexcrimes-020216
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