House Public Safety Committee approves Griffey bill to eliminate statute of limitations on certain sex crimes involving children

This week, the House Public Safety Committee unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Dan Griffey, R-Allyn, that would eliminate the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes involving children.

Specifically, House Bill 1231 would eliminate the statute of limitations for: rape in the first and second degree if the victim is under the age of 16, rape of a child in the second and third degrees, child molestation in the second and third degrees, sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree, and more. The bill would also extend the statute of limitations for various other sex crimes.

The bill is Griffey's second effort this legislative session to gain some momentum on an issue he has been pursuing since his first term in the Washington State House of Representatives.

For the past four years, Griffey has introduced legislation that would remove the statute of limitations for most felony sex crimes, including rape, indecent liberties, voyeurism, sexual exploitation of a minor, and more. To his dismay, those bills have yet to receive the support of the full legislative body.

In an attempt to make the bill more palatable to lawmakers, Griffey introduced two versions of his bill this year – House Bill 1234, which mirrors past proposals to eliminate the statute of limitations for most felony sex offenses, and House Bill 1231.

While Griffey ultimately would like to see House Bill 1234 signed into law, he believes House Bill 1231 is an important step toward providing more opportunities for justice for survivors.

“I want survivors and the loved ones of survivors to know I am in their corner and I will not back away from this issue until we have eliminated the statute of limitations for all heinous sex crimes,” he said. “I hope House Bill 1231 will be a catalyst for even greater change with our statute of limitations laws.”

House Bill 1231 and 1234 received public hearings on Jan. 22, but only House Bill 1231 passed out of the committee on Thursday.

House Bill 1231 now awaits action from the state House.


Washington State House Republican Communications