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Houchin: Bill to extend the statute of limitations for certain sexual offenses passes committee

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 21, 2020) – A bill that would extend the statute of limitations for certain sexual offenses unanimously passed the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law today. State Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) is an author on this legislation.

Under current law, the statute of limitations for most sex crimes against children requires charges to be filed before the victim reaches 31 years of age. Senate Bill 109 would create exemptions to this rule if law enforcement discover DNA evidence of a crime; discover a recording that provides evidence of a crime; or if a perpetrator confesses to a crime.

In 2015, Houchin supported Senate Enrolled Act 94, also known as “Jenny’s Law,” which provides the same exemptions for rape. SB 109 is an expansion of Jenny’s Law, aligning the exemptions to the statute of limitations for rape with sex crimes against children.

"Ensuring those who commit heinous acts of sexual violence or child exploitation are brought to justice for their crimes is crucial – no matter how much time has passed,” Houchin said. “The pain inflicted on victims can last a lifetime, and we want to make sure victims have every opportunity to get the closure and justice they deserve. I am proud to be an author on this legislation. As amended, this bill would allow, under certain circumstances, prosecutors and law enforcement the ability to seek justice for victims. It is a great step in the right direction, and I know that its passage will be a blessing to victims and a warning to perpetrators."

Prior to the legislation being heard in committee, Houchin attended a press conference this morning along with State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield), representatives of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and other stakeholders.

“Hearing from a survivor of sexual assault this morning truly drove home how important this legislation is,” Houchin said. “My heart aches for all survivors of sexual assault, especially those who were abused as children, and I will continue to support them through legislation like SB 109.”

SB 109 will now be considered by the full Senate.

To learn more about SB 109, click here.


Click here for a high-resolution photo of Sen. Houchin.

SB 109 Press Conference