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Jun-25-2009 17:38printcomments

Bill to Raise Age of Sex Abuse Victims Moves Through Legislature

After clearing the House, House Bill 2827 will go to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski to be signed into law. photo by Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - A bill that would raise the age of sex abuse victims in Oregon from 24 to 40 will likely become law. The future of House Bill 2827 appeared bleak when we wrote about it May 28th 2009. (see: Will Oregon Stand for Sex Abuse Victims? - Tim King

Many of the cases originate from churches in Oregon and experts like Portland Attorney Kelly Clark, say it often takes several decades for a person to comprehend the magnitude of their experience and come forward.

Bill Crane from the group SNAP, (Survivors Network of people Abused by Priests) says it is a good day in Oregon and while cautious, he agrees that it is good news on a day that could use it.

Molly Woon with the Oregon State Legislature says H.B. 2827 passed through the Senate Floor today, after moving through the Oregon House unanimously.

Woon says there was an amendment and the bill has to now go back to the House for concurrence. The change, "removed definition of causable connections between injury and child abuse," according to Woon.

She says it amounts to a technical fix.

After clearing the House, House Bill 2827 will go to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski to be signed into law.

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Ruth June 27, 2009 12:38 pm (Pacific time)

Just picked up this bit of news about the Oregon Legislature  passing this bill.  I also just saw the video you did on May 30th as the bill was being considered.  I thought the video was excellent.  I was so glad to  see the wisdom of the Oregon legislature in passing this bill compared to all the problems similiar bills are facing all over the nation.  Right now, across the ocean, Ireland is stepping into a full report from the Ryan report with decades of child abuse.  The Vatican has no controls over this huge problem.  Everything is too secret with its Canon Laws and Sovereign Nation. Thanks to SNAP for all its hard work for surviors. Its good to see Oregon leading in the cause for our precious children. 426zv

How embarrassing June 27, 2009 12:11 am (Pacific time)

Thanks for clarifying that, I understand now. So much for a 7 year statute on crimes though. So if a man sexually abused a 17 year old girl when he was 18 years old, he could be 41 years old and be charged for a crime he did 23 years ago?

Editor:  Well, Oregon has a three year thing where they consider it less severe if the ages are still that close.  I think the technical answer to your question is yes, but it really speaks most directly the the type of abuse that happened in churches, scouting organizations and things like that I believe.  Those are the groups that openly oppose this type of legislation.  I suppose that if  an 18-year old brutalized a person a year younger and got away scott free while the other person's life was ruined as a result of the abuse, it would be OK, but I'll bet the cases it will apply to will be more severe.    

How embarrassing June 26, 2009 11:42 pm (Pacific time)

"A bill that would raise the age of sex abuse victims in Oregon from 24 to 40 will likely become law." I feel really stupid for not quite understanding what this means. Please elucidate what the change does, in layman's terms. I don't even understand what the current law is. Pardon my ignorance, and thanks for your time.

Editor: No problem, under the current law only, a person who was sexually abused as a minor only has until they are 24 to make a legal case of it and potentially bring charges against the offender (s).  Experts say many people don't come forward talking about this kind of awful stuff when they are in their first 24-years.  This law extends the age to 40 instead of 24.  

david clohessy June 26, 2009 3:59 pm (Pacific time)

Child sex victims need more legal options to expose their predators in court and protect vulnerable kids. This law is one key step forward for children. David Clohessy National Director, SNAP Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests 7234 Arsenal Street St. Louis MO 63143 314 566 9790 cell

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