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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 19, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Sex crimes against children

Eliminate state criminal statutes

The Washington state Legislature should eliminate the criminal statutes of limitation for sex crimes committed against children.

Our children are being denied equal protection because federal law has eliminated those statutes “during the life of the child, or for ten years after the offense, whichever is longer.”

So, children who are molested under federal criminal statutes have no statute of limitations. If, however, they are molested under our state criminal statutes, they are limited in attempting to seek justice. This is not fair because not only do they not have the additional deterrent effect by the elimination of the statutes of limitation, they cannot seek justice when they are able to come forward. After all, they were children when they were molested.

There will be no immediate cost to the state because the law cannot act retroactively, so it only affects cases that occur after the date the governor signs the law. Moreover, experience has shown many of the victims will not come forward until they are in their 30s or 40s, so not until then will those cases begin to enter the criminal-justice system.

See www.stopmolesters.org

— Don Brockett, Spokane

Comments | More in Children, crime/justice

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