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#355726 - 03/06/11 01:37 PM Oregon considers statute of limitations revision
WalkingSouth Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/03/bill_would_remove_statute_of_l.html

SALEM -- Part of the public fury that grew over former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt's admission that he sexually abused an underage girl was that he could not be prosecuted for the crime -- the statute of limitations had expired long ago.

Now Oregon lawmakers are considering a change that would eliminate the time limit on when someone accused of abuse or assault of a minor could be prosecuted.

"I just think there is no rationale that we deny children the ability to seek justice later on in life," says Rep. Dave Hunt, D-Gladstone, who is pushing the proposed change in the law.

The proposal, contained in House Bill 3057, gets its first public hearing Monday and will likely generate a fight pitting prosecutors against defense attorneys. Some district attorneys say young sexual assault victims need extra protection. Defense lawyers say the change would make it far more difficult for people to make the case that they've been wrongly accused.

Oregon has a six-year statute of limitations on most sex crimes. However, the law allows a longer time period if the victim is under 18. In that case, the crime can be prosecuted any time before the victim turns 30, or within 12 years after the crime is reported to police or the Department of Human Services.

But even those extended time periods aren't always enough, says John Foote, Clackamas County district attorney.

"Child abuse is a lifelong event," he says. "It stays with people their whole lives. Sometimes society ends up paying for it. Sometimes the victim does."

The bill offers one more layer of protection if abusers understand they could be prosecuted long after the crime, Foote says. "When you're in the work we're in, protecting children, you realize these kids need all the protection they can get because the effects are so devastating."

Innocent defendants need protection, too, says Gail Meyer, lobbyist for the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Completely removing an already lengthy statute of limitations stacks the deck against them, she says.

In criminal cases, as opposed to civil ones, the defense has no right to depose witnesses, Meyer says. Most of the crimes fall under Measure 11's mandatory sentencing guidelines and it takes a 10-2 jury verdict to convict.

"Add that to a delayed report of 20, 30, 40 years, it's just too much," she says. "It just spells a disaster for justice."

Goldschmidt offers the most high-profile case in Oregon of a crime that went unreported until it was too late to prosecute. In May 2004, the former governor and Nike executive confessed that he had sex with an underage girl when he was Portland mayor in the 1980s. He kept the crime secret for years, in part by making payments to the victim as part of a court settlement.

Despite the criminal nature of his abuse, Goldschmidt faced no chance of prosecution. The bill Hunt is pushing would apply to offenses that occurred before or after the law's effective date, but would not allow prosecutors to open old cases.

Goldschmidt has since disappeared from public life, but community outrage hasn't let up. It flared again over reports of the recent death of his victim, and a story in The Oregonian in which the victim gave several interviews to former columnist Margie Boule that offered grim details of her abuse by Goldschmidt.

Hunt says the Goldschmidt case is far from the sole reason he introduced the bill. It's as much about reports of abuse within the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts as it is about Goldschmidt, he says.

Hunt's wife, Tonia Hunt, is executive director of the Children's Center of Clackamas County, which works with young abuse victims. As a result, he says, he hears stories on a daily basis about the terrible things that some adults do to minors.

"We want victims to come forward, whether they're still children or whether they're adults," Hunt says. "Ultimately, they're not going to heal or move on until justice has been promised and achieved."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's interesting to note that a couple years ago here in Oregon when the statute of limitations was revised to it's current standing that the two groups who most vigorously opposed the legislation were the Roman Catholic church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons).



Edited by WalkingSouth (03/06/11 01:42 PM)
_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#355727 - 03/06/11 02:25 PM Re: Oregon considers statute of limitations revision [Re: WalkingSouth]
men_of_hrts.dbw Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 301
Loc: Orchidland Big Island Hawaii
Sex crime Victims Rights could use a complete overhaul--

_________________________
Doug>ASA Survivor (1x)
ECV 6001/MaTuCa Chapter 1849
E Clampus Vitus
"What Say the Brethren"
"Hang the Bastards"

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#355758 - 03/06/11 11:39 PM Re: Oregon considers statute of limitations revision [Re: men_of_hrts.dbw]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 857
Loc: washington
WoW...

This personally hits close to home...My perp (uncle) actually lived really close to Mall 205...

I am of course not glad about what happened...but the public fury
because of what happened is kinda cool.

Hopefully society at some point will wake up and at least put the odds in favor of all the innocent children.

Nobody should have to deal with the aftershocks of csa...unfortunately, that is why I am here...*sigh*


Goodbye to Jane (Antichrisis)


island

p.s. I love the distortion at the end of this song....after all of the singing...somehow it just all sounds like it makes perfect sense.

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#355875 - 03/08/11 02:06 AM Re: Oregon considers statute of limitations revision [Re: 1islandboy]
WalkingSouth Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
I've received an email from a friend who was at the hearing today. There were a number of survivors of both genders there who testified. They feel it went well. The say the public face of the opposition is a group of defense lawyers. The hearing continues tomorrow with further testimony by survivors on the agenda.

As an interesting side note, He stated the following at the close of his email:

"As ________ and I were leaving the Capitol this afternoon the reporter from KATU stopped me to visit. He told me that they took down the portrait of Neil Goldschmidt from the library on the 4th floor today. Somebody is hearing us!!!"

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#355919 - 03/08/11 01:32 PM Re: Oregon considers statute of limitations revision [Re: WalkingSouth]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 857
Loc: washington
In a weird way...it seems as if they are testifying on my own behalf...(and others who don't have a voice).

Thanks for the update...


Between the Hammer and the Anvil (JP)

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#359066 - 04/08/11 11:19 PM Re: Oregon considers statute of limitations revision [Re: 1islandboy]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Well, we lost this fight just a few minutes ago. I just received an email from a friend in the advocacy organization Oaasis that was working on getting this bill passed. Here's a part of what he said:

Quote:
The elimination of the Criminal Statute of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse is dead at the hands of Wayne Krieger (R) of Gold Beach, OR, Co-Chair of the Oregon House Judiciary Committee. Yes he has that power.


_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#359109 - 04/09/11 10:07 AM Re: Oregon considers statute of limitations revision [Re: WalkingSouth]
Rusty563 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 200
Loc: Anywhere, USA
Once again the perpertrators win. But little do they know that we'll never give up the fight.

Rusty

_________________________
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you - Maya Angelous
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed - Martin Luther King
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qF_qbaWt3Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDOkMSf-F14

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#359191 - 04/09/11 10:17 PM Re: Oregon considers statute of limitations revision [Re: Rusty563]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 857
Loc: washington
Don't Stop the Fight (Fastway)

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#359209 - 04/09/11 11:54 PM Re: Oregon considers statute of limitations revision [Re: WalkingSouth]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6815
Loc: USA
I remember the first time I publically revealed the abuse I had experienced as a Boy Scout at age 12.

I was asked by the organization SNAP to go to Washington D.C. to give testimony to the local authorities there about what I experienced. I had been abused as a child in the summer camp run by the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

http://www.snapnetwork.org/

The need had arisen because the statute of limitations for sexual abuse in the Nations Capital was at that time 6 months. As far as I know we were not successful in getting that changed. So it is still 6 months.

Isn't that ridiculous? A statute of limitations of 6 months. Most of us don't even remember the abuse we experienced as children until perhaps 30 years later! 6 months frown . Bad news.

Allen


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