Rape survivors call for increasing statute of limitations to 20 years, not 12 Updated May 26, at 5: House Bill , set to be heard Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, would double the state's current six-year time limit to file charges in rape cases. But 12 years is not long enough, said several rape survivors and their advocates. They want a year window and blamed state Sen.
Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, for blocking the move. Twenty-five states have no statute of limitations for rape charges. Six states have statutes of limitations that range from 15 to 25 years. Oregon and six other states have a six-year limit.
Only one other state has a lower limit -- Connecticut at five years. In Oregon, current law also allows the statute of limitations for sex crimes against minors to last until the victim reaches age 30, or to run until 12 years of when the crime was first reported, whichever comes first.
Danielle Tudor, who was 17 when serial rapist Richard Troy Gillmore attacked her in her Southeast Portland home in , accused Prozanski of holding HB "hostage to his demands. By that time, the "Jogger Rapist" had sexually assaulted eight other women, but most of the cases were too old to prosecute. Gillmore was convicted in only after the rape of a year-old girl.
Tudor had to fight to be considered a "victim" and allowed to address the state parole board during Gillmore's parole hearings. Clark, who was raped as an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before she graduated in Clark, who worked at one time as a researcher for the University of Oregon, said she didn't tell her mother until six years after her attack.
And it took another year before she was able to speak publicly about her attack. She didn't notify police, but has worked actively to improve campus response to sexual assaults across the nation.
Garrett had reported sex abuse by a Happy Valley pastor to Portland police in , but prosecutors decided not to pursue the case. Mike Sperou was prosecuted this year in a later abuse case and sentenced to 20 years in prison. That's a flawed system in my eyes,'' Garrett said. Prozanski, in an interview Monday, said he considers doubling the state's current statute of limitations a reasonable step. He wants to set up a work group after this legislative session that would include members of the Oregon Department of Justice, prosecutors, defense lawyers, rape survivors and law enforcement representatives to determine an appropriate limit.
Supporters of a year limit had hoped Sen. Thatcher supports the year statute of limitations for rape, but Prozanski made it clear "he is only interested in passing the bill with the 12 year statute of limitations,'' said Thatcher's policy director William Newell, on Tuesday. In a prepared statement, Doug Harcleroad, retired Lane County prosecutor on behalf of the Oregon District Attorneys Association, said the group supports a year limit for crimes of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy , first-degree unlawful sexual penetration and first-degree sex abuse.
The longer limit would reflect the seriousness of the crimes and the recognition that victims of the worst attacks often delay reporting them because of their emotional trauma, he said. Scientific testing of DNA evidence also is now better than ever and the backlog of untested samples, when tested, "may well reveal the perpetrators of these horrible crimes from long ago," he said.
She has argued it would be more difficult for a defendant to get a fair trial because "evidence inevitably disappears or degrades'' with time and witnesses may not be available or alive. Garven, of the National Crime Victims Law Institute, countered that argument Tuesday, saying prosecutors would be unable to pursue cases if there was insufficient evidence. It does not guarantee a guilty verdict.