Monday, August 25, 2008

WA State Allows Victims to Testify Against Sex Offenders and Rapists After the Statute of Limitations Has Passed

A new law in Washington State now allows victims of sex offenders to testify in court even if the statute of limitations for the crime has passed. In a case against Roger Scherner, 79, the state allowed prior victims who had not previously come forth with information about abuse to testify in court. One woman, now 49, testified about her abuse by Scherner that happened 33 years ago while she was on a family vacation. She did not tell anyone about the abuse and the statute of limitations has expired.

Previously the law had only allowed prosecutors to bring the alleged sex offender's past history into court under very strict guidelines. Advocates of the new law, passed in June, hope that allowing previous victims to testify will help convict sex offenders by establishing a pattern of abuse and showing that the alleged person is capable of committing such a crime, and has done so in the past, even if they have not be charged until now.

To to read more, please visit the article in The Seattle Times "Rape trial lets family share decades of pain, secrets".

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