Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/09/2001 01:18 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 210 - STAT. OF LIMITATIONS:SEXUAL ASSAULT/ABUSE                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
[Contains discussion  of the testimony heard for  HB 143 regarding                                                              
evidence  collection   and  preservation,   and  the   statistical                                                              
correlation between burglary and sexual assault.]                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2047                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  announced that  the next  order of business  would                                                              
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  210, "An  Act relating  to sexual  assault and                                                              
sexual abuse of a minor."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2028                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER   made  a  motion  to  adopt   the  proposed                                                              
committee  substitute  (CS)  for   HB  210,  version  22-LS0782\C,                                                              
Luckhaupt, 4/3/01,  as a  work draft.   There being  no objection,                                                              
Version C was before the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER, speaking  as  the sponsor,  explained  that                                                              
the  intention  with  Version  C  was to  remove  the  statute  of                                                              
limitations  on felony sexual  assault.   The original  version of                                                              
HB 210  included all  sexual assault  crimes,  of which there  are                                                              
four different  degrees, with  the fourth degree  being a  class A                                                              
misdemeanor.  He  clarified that currently there is  no statute of                                                              
limitations for sexual  abuse of a minor, and Version  C would not                                                              
alter that; sexual  abuse of a minor is only  mentioned in Version                                                              
C because  the drafter  was attempting  to group  together  all of                                                              
the time  limitations  that pertain  to sexual  assault.   He said                                                              
that in his mind, sexual assault is second only to murder.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MEYER   added   that  studies   now   show   that                                                              
incriminating  evidence can  prove  sexual assault  no matter  how                                                              
much  time has  passed.   He said  that  it was  his opinion  that                                                              
prosecution  of  sexual  assault  should  not be  limited  by  the                                                              
passage  of time because  the effects  of sexual  assault  will be                                                              
with  the victim  for the rest  of his/her  life.   He noted  that                                                              
according  to  testimony  heard regarding  HB  143,  technological                                                              
advances now allow  for better preservation of  evidence, and this                                                              
evidence  shows   a  correlation  between  offenders   who  commit                                                              
[burglary]  and  offenders  who   commit  [sexual  assault].    He                                                              
proffered  that  if  sexual  assault  can  be  proven  [beyond]  a                                                              
reasonable  doubt,  even  20  years after  it  occurred,  then  it                                                              
should be prosecuted.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER  noted  that  in  addition  to  applying  to                                                              
offenses  committed on  or  after the  effective  date, Version  C                                                              
also applies  to offenses  committed prior  to the effective  date                                                              
as long as the  current statute of limitations  for those offenses                                                              
has not expired.   He mentioned that the members'  packets contain                                                              
additional    information   on    deoxyribonucleic   acid    (DNA)                                                              
collection,  and he  also mentioned  that Version  C has two  zero                                                              
fiscal notes and one undetermined fiscal note.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1851                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KAREN BITZER, Executive  Director, Standing Together  Against Rape                                                              
(STAR), testified  via teleconference in  support of HB 210.   She                                                              
said that  sexual assault  is a  crime of fear  and of  power, and                                                              
merely  because of  the trauma  involved, it  is an  underreported                                                              
crime.  She added  that STAR has found that although  a victim may                                                              
go through the  evidence-collection process, at that  point he/she                                                              
can  become   even  more   fearful  and   decide  not   to  pursue                                                              
prosecution.  Yet,  years later, the victim will  come forward and                                                              
say  that  he/she  wishes  that  he/she had  had  the  courage  to                                                              
continue.   She  said  STAR believes  with  the  expansion of  the                                                              
concept of  SART -  Sexual Assault  Response Team  - and  of child                                                              
advocacy  centers, along  with telemedicine,  there  will be  more                                                              
collection   of  DNA,   and  therefore,   there   would  be   more                                                              
opportunities  to link more  crimes genetically.   To  illustrate,                                                              
she  said STAR  has  found that  in  the last  five  years in  the                                                              
United States, through  the use of the DNA database,  over 200 ex-                                                              
convicts  have  been  linked  to  more  recent  crimes.    And  in                                                              
Britain,  since 1985,  over 30,000  suspects have  been linked  to                                                              
crime  scene   evidence   through  the  use   of  DNA   databases.                                                              
Therefore,   Star   believes   that  removing   the   statute   of                                                              
limitations [for  sexual assault]  protects the victim's  right to                                                              
justice.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  asked, if someone  were loath to  go through                                                              
the evidence  collection  process, whether  there is  a way  to go                                                              
forward with prosecution  anyway.  And if not, she  wanted to know                                                              
how a case could be pursued years after the fact.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BITZER   responded  that   STAR  would   love  to   see  more                                                              
evidentiary  prosecution  occurring in  cases  of sexual  assault,                                                              
but the  proper  mechanisms need  to be  in place  in order  to do                                                              
that.   Currently, a person  still has  the right to  stand before                                                              
his/her  accuser.   For this  reason,  evidentiary collection  and                                                              
prosecution - whereby  a person can be prosecuted  on the evidence                                                              
alone  - would  be a  wonderful  thing for  sexual assault  cases.                                                              
She  noted,  however,  that  the legal  question  is  whether  the                                                              
mechanism  is in place  in order  for later  prosecutions  to take                                                              
place.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  said that she viewed the question  as one of                                                              
finding ways  in which to allow  cases to go through on  the basis                                                              
of evidence,  rather than  waiting several years  for a  victim to                                                              
come forward again.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1665                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  said that if HB 210  passes, there would                                                              
be no  statute of  limitations for  a criminal  action, but  there                                                              
still would  be a statute  for limitations  for civil action.   He                                                              
asked  if  the door  should  be  opened  in  order to  remove  the                                                              
statute of limitations for civil actions as well.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BITZER  said that  was certainly  something to be  considered,                                                              
although she was  not exactly sure what the impact  would be.  She                                                              
explained  that unlike  victims  of domestic  violence and  family                                                              
members of murder  victims, sexual assault victims  do not usually                                                              
seek restitution  in  civil processes.   She  added that this  was                                                              
not  to say  that allowing  them the  opportunity would  not be  a                                                              
good  thing,  just that,  as  a  standard  rule of  thumb,  sexual                                                              
assault  victims  are  the  least  likely of  all  victims  to  go                                                              
forward with a civil case.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES  asked  whether contraction  of  a  sexually                                                              
transmitted disease  (STD) increases the likelihood  that a sexual                                                              
assault victim will file a civil action.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. BITZER reiterated  that statistically, sexual  assault victims                                                              
are the  least likely of  all victims to  go forward with  a civil                                                              
case, regardless of STDs.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1574                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TRISHA GENTLE,  Executive Director,  Council on Domestic  Violence                                                              
and Sexual  Assault, spoke in support  of HB 210, and  she thanked                                                              
Representative Meyer  for his ongoing work in  bringing the issues                                                              
of  sexual assault  to the  forefront  in Alaska.   She  explained                                                              
that the  way in which  HB 210 could be  the most supportive  of a                                                              
victim of  sexual assault is if  the victim goes through  the rape                                                              
exam at the time  of the assault.  In this  way, physical evidence                                                              
-  both  DNA  and  other kinds  of  physical  evidence  -  can  be                                                              
collected and  maintained.  She reported  that there are  a lot of                                                              
situations in  which victims do not  want to go forth  through the                                                              
trial process.   They have been sexually abused,  they sit through                                                              
hours  of  police  reporting,  they  go  through  hours  of  exams                                                              
(spoken of in detail  last year), and, as the  case moves forward,                                                              
they simply want  to put the whole experience behind  them.  Hence                                                              
victims feel  that they can't go  forth with prosecution;  they do                                                              
not want to go through the additional trauma of the trial.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. GENTLE  offered that by having  physical evidence on  file and                                                              
by  removing  the  statute  of limitations,  it  would  provide  a                                                              
victim  the opportunity,  at a later  date when  he/she felt  more                                                              
healed and stronger,  to go forth with prosecution.   For example,                                                              
there may  be a perpetrator  being charged on  a rape case,  and a                                                              
victim who  had been  raped ten  years ago and  who had  gotten an                                                              
exam but  at the time  there was not  enough evidence to  forth on                                                              
the case;  then a connection might  be made between the  two cases                                                              
and  that perpetrator  could  be  retried  on the  second  assault                                                              
because  of  matching   evidence  including  matching   DNA.    In                                                              
addressing  the issue  of a  statute  of limitations  for a  civil                                                              
action, she  said she  thought it  would be  wonderful to  open up                                                              
the  door because  immediately after  the  crime is  not the  best                                                              
time for a  victim to be making  the decision whether  to go forth                                                              
with a  civil case.   She has  seen that  victims - for  instance,                                                              
victims of child abuse or incest - do go forth with civil cases.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1420                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BLAIR  McCUNE,  Deputy  Director, Public  Defender  Agency  (PDA),                                                              
Department of  Administration, testified  via teleconference.   He                                                              
said  [the PDA's]  main  concern relates  to  the difficulties  in                                                              
defending  a case  that is  over ten years  old.   Trying to  find                                                              
alibis and  witnesses becomes extremely  difficult, and  he opined                                                              
that  as   being  the  main  reason   for  having  a   statute  of                                                              
limitations for  offenses.   He said that  the PDA feels  that the                                                              
recent  increase  to  ten  years in  the  statute  of  limitations                                                              
pertaining  to sexual assault  and other  crimes against  a person                                                              
is appropriate.   He added that  one of the obvious purposes  of a                                                              
statute  of   limitations  is   to  allow   a  person   to  defend                                                              
himself/herself  when  charged with  a  crime.   He  concluded  by                                                              
saying that the PDA was not in favor of HB 210.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN  noted  that  that  logic  works  both  ways:                                                              
prosecutors  would   have  just   as  difficult  a   time  finding                                                              
witnesses  - both  defense  and prosecution  are  yoked with  that                                                              
burden.    He  added,  therefore,  that  he  would  not  have  any                                                              
difficulty passing HB 210 on that basis.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1279                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JERRY    LUCKHAUPT,   Attorney,    Legislative   Legal    Counsel,                                                              
Legislative  Legal  and  Research  Services,  Legislative  Affairs                                                              
Agency, explained  that the reason  he had added "sexual  abuse of                                                              
a  minor"  to  Section  1 was  for  clarity's  sake;  the  current                                                              
statute pertaining  to crimes against  children, which  is located                                                              
elsewhere,  already  stipulates   that  there  is  no  statute  of                                                              
limitations.   He affirmed  for Chair  Rokeberg that sexual  abuse                                                              
of  a minor  in the  fourth  degree, which  is  a misdemeanor,  is                                                              
already included in that statute.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG added  that the  crime  of incest  has a  ten-year                                                              
statute  of limitation,  and that  "Satch Carlson  doesn't have  a                                                              
statute of [limitations]."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  asked, "How many  cases do we  have that                                                              
are more than five years old."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MEYER  responded   that  according   to  a   news                                                              
interview  with  Juneau's chief  of  police,  there are  very  few                                                              
cases that  go past the ten-year  period, but there are  some; the                                                              
police  chief's  opinion was  that  those  cases should  still  be                                                              
prosecuted  whenever possible.    Representative  Meyer said  that                                                              
based on the fact  that there were a few such cases  in Juneau, he                                                              
assumed  there   were  even  more  in  Anchorage   and  Fairbanks,                                                              
although he did not have a specific number.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   ROKEBERG   referred   to   Amendment   1   [22-LS0782\C.1,                                                              
Luckhaupt, 4/9/01], which read as follows:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 4, following "murder,":                                                                                   
          Insert "felony"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 7, following "murder,":                                                                                   
          Insert "felony"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 1:                                                                                                            
          Delete "AS 11.41.427 - 11.41.458"                                                                                 
          Insert "AS 11.41.427 - 11.41.438 and 11.41.450 -                                                                  
     11.41.458"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He asked  if Amendment  1 is  intended to  exclude removal  of the                                                              
statute of  limitations for the crime  of sexual abuse  of a minor                                                              
in  the fourth  degree (a  class A  misdemeanor), thereby  keeping                                                              
the statute of limitations for that crime at five years.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1128                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LUCKHAUPT said  that  was correct;  that  was  the effect  of                                                              
Amendment  1.   He explained  that  there are  two  ways in  which                                                              
sexual abuse  of a minor in the  fourth degree is committed.   The                                                              
first  involves  a person  under  the age  of  16  who engages  in                                                              
sexual penetration  - consensual or otherwise - with  a victim who                                                              
is under the  age of 13 and  is at least three years  younger than                                                              
the offender;  if the sexual  penetration is not  consensual, then                                                              
an  assault charge  could  also  be filed.    The second  involves                                                              
sexual contact between  a [person who is at least  18 years of age                                                              
and occupies  a position of authority  in relation to  the victim]                                                              
and a victim  who is 16 or 17  years old and at least  three years                                                              
younger  than  the offender.    He  noted  that the  reference  in                                                              
statute to  an offender  who occupies a  position of  authority in                                                              
relation to  the victim is the  result of [an  incident involving]                                                              
Satch Carlson.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1016                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  made a motion to  adopt Amendment 1.   To clarify,                                                              
he  said that  there was  no intention  behind HB  210 to  include                                                              
misdemeanor sexual  abuse of  a minor; the  only intent  behind HB
210 was  to remove  the statute of  limitations for  felony sexual                                                              
assaults.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER confirmed that intention.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0938                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  objected for  the purpose of  a possible                                                              
amendment to Amendment  1.  He noted that HB  210 would completely                                                              
remove  the statute  of limitations  on  a crime,  which has  only                                                              
been done  previously for  the crime  of murder.   He said  he had                                                              
concern over the  removal of the statute of limitations  for class                                                              
C felony  sexual assaults.   He suggested  - in seeking  a balance                                                              
with the law  - that the existing ten-year statute  of limitations                                                              
suffices for that  class of offense.  And, with  every sensitivity                                                              
towards how horrific  sexual assault is, he stated  that "we" have                                                              
differing  degrees  of  sexual assault  in  statute  purposely  to                                                              
express  that  there   are  different  levels  of   concern,  and,                                                              
therefore,  he was  troubled by  entirely lifting  the statute  of                                                              
limitations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JAMES  said   she   agreed  with   Representative                                                              
Berkowitz.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER  said:  "What you're saying is  that it would                                                              
probably  be OK  to  limit the  statute  of limitations  on  first                                                              
degree  [sexual  assault]  and  second  degree  [sexual  assault],                                                              
which is  [respectively, an] unclassified  felony and [a]  class B                                                              
felony."  But, he  argued, a class C felony still  involves sexual                                                              
penetration and sexual  contact, and in his mind,  still [warrants                                                              
being included in HB 210].                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  asked if "the  old statutory rape"  was considered                                                              
third degree [sexual assault].                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LUCKHAUPT  explained  that  the old  statutory  rape  [crime]                                                              
exists  in  all  four  of  the   sexual-abuse-of-a-minor  statutes                                                              
because "consent"  was removed  as a  factor.   He noted  that the                                                              
legislature has  made the age of  13 the dividing line  at which a                                                              
victim  can  never  consent  to  have  sex;  the  legislature  has                                                              
decided there  can never  be an  occasion when it  is right  for a                                                              
12-year-old to have sex.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ withdrew his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0688                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG   asked  if  there  were  further   objections  to                                                              
Amendment 1.  There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0672                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  made   a  motion  to  adopt  Conceptual                                                              
Amendment   2,  "the  statute   of  limitations   be  lifted   for                                                              
unclassified  [felony]  sexual assault  and  [unclassified  felony                                                              
sexual  assault of  a  minor], A  felony, and  B  [felony] of  the                                                              
same,  ... which  would leave  the  C felonies  with the  ten-year                                                              
[statute of limitations] that exists."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0620                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER  objected for the purpose of  discussion.  He                                                              
asked for  a definition  of third  degree.  He  added that  it was                                                              
his  understanding  that a  third-degree  - or  class  C -  felony                                                              
still involved penetration and [sexual] contact.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0603                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LUCKHAUPT  explained  that  third-degree sexual  abuse  of  a                                                              
minor  does  involve sexual  penetration,  and  that  third-degree                                                              
sexual assault, which  is also a class C felony,  has three forms.                                                              
One form involves  a guard at a correctional  facility engaging in                                                              
sexual penetration  with a  prisoner.  A  second form  involves an                                                              
offender  who engages  in sexual  contact with  a person whom  the                                                              
offender  knows  to  be  mentally   incapable,  incapacitated,  or                                                              
unaware  that a  sexual  act is  being committed.    A third  form                                                              
involves a  person, such as a counselor  or a guard at  a juvenile                                                              
correctional facility,  who engages  in sexual penetration  with a                                                              
person 18 or 19  years of age who the offender  knows is committed                                                              
to the  custody of  the Department of  Health and Social  Services                                                              
(DHSS) [or the offender is the legal guardian of the person].                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0512                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ noted  that one  of the cornerstones  of                                                              
criminal  law  is  proportionality,  wherein  there has  to  be  a                                                              
proportional  punishment to the  crime.   And the legislature  has                                                              
set up  a statutory  scheme whereby  unclassified, class  A, class                                                              
B, and  class C felonies,  and class A  and B misdemeanors  exist.                                                              
He said  he thought that removing  the statute of  limitations for                                                              
class C  felonies was being  disproportionate.  He  clarified that                                                              
Conceptual  Amendment 2  would  remove the  inclusion  of class  C                                                              
felonies for  the crimes of sexual  assault and sexual  assault of                                                              
a minor from HB  210, which would then only remove  the statute of                                                              
limitations  for  unclassified  felonies,  class A  felonies,  and                                                              
class B felonies  of both sexual  assault and sexual assault  of a                                                              
minor.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LUCKHAUPT  noted  that the  crime  of  incest  is a  class  C                                                              
felony,  as  is  the  crime of  indecent  exposure  in  the  first                                                              
degree.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  remarked that HB  210 does not affect  the current                                                              
statute  of  limitations for  the  crimes  of incest  or  indecent                                                              
exposure.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT agreed  but questioned whether  Conceptual Amendment                                                              
2  would  involve  the statutes  pertaining  to  crimes  committed                                                              
against children beyond what is listed in HB 210.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ noted that  in his experience,  children                                                              
sometimes  don't  want to  confront  [the  crime] until  they  are                                                              
older,  and so  a longer  statute of  limitations is,  and can  be                                                              
appropriate.    But  forgetting  the  crime,  he  said,  and  just                                                              
looking at the  classification of crimes, there is  a hierarchy of                                                              
unclassified,  [class] A,  B, and  C felonies;  it seems that  the                                                              
statute of limitations  ought not to be entirely  lifted on lower-                                                              
level  crimes,  regardless  of  how  offensive  those  crimes  are                                                              
thought  to be.   The legislature  has made  a determination  that                                                              
there are different categories.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER said  that  in his  opinion,  rape is  rape,                                                              
whether  it  involves  a  prison  guard  with  a  prisoner,  or  a                                                              
caregiver  at  an  old  folks home  or  mental  institution.    He                                                              
likened it  to [the crime of]  murder in that there  are different                                                              
levels, but all have [the statute of limitations removed].                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ countered  that  such was  not the  case                                                              
[with the crime of murder].                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN requested  clarification  on  the effects  of                                                              
Conceptual Amendment 2.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0270                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG explained  the effects to be such  that the removal                                                              
of  the statute  of  limitations  for  felony sexual  assault  and                                                              
felony  sexual abuse  of a  minor would  not include  the class  C                                                              
felonies  of those  crimes.   Thus  unclassified, class  A, and  B                                                              
felonies for  the crimes of sexual  assault and sexual  abuse of a                                                              
minor would have  no statute of limitations, and  class C felonies                                                              
and misdemeanors  of those  same crimes  would retain  the current                                                              
ten-year statute  of limitations.   He  clarified that  [the crime                                                              
of]  indecent exposure  in the  first degree  was also  a class  C                                                              
felony.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGAN requested  an explanation  of the  difference                                                              
between  indecent  exposure  in  the  first  degree  and  indecent                                                              
exposure in the second degree.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER asked  if [the crime  of] indecent  exposure                                                              
is considered a sexual assault.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  noted  that  [the  crime  of]  indecent  exposure                                                              
already has a ten-year statute of limitations.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LUCKHAUPT   clarified  that   he  had  posed   his  questions                                                              
regarding  [the crime  of] indecent  exposure because  he was  not                                                              
sure  if   Representative  Berkowitz   intended  with   Conceptual                                                              
Amendment 2 to  affect all of the existing statute  of limitations                                                              
pertaining to  children.  He said  that if Conceptual  Amendment 2                                                              
only  applies to  [the  crime of]  class C  sexual  assault as  it                                                              
pertains to adults, then he did understand it.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  commented   that  committee  staff  has                                                              
pointed  out that  there is  a section  that says:   "even if  the                                                              
general time limit  has expired, a prosecution  for sexual assault                                                              
for an  offense committed  against a  person under  the age  of 18                                                              
may be  commenced at anytime."   Therefore, he noted,  his concern                                                              
regarding minors is already addressed in current statute.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER  further clarified that  Conceptual Amendment                                                              
2 would only apply to [adult victims of] sexual assault.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  agreed  that Conceptual  Amendment  2  would  not                                                              
repeal  the current  law regarding  [victims]  18 and  under.   He                                                              
added that  Amendment 1 was nothing  more than a  clarification of                                                              
an existing statute.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES questioned  what would  happen if,  20 years                                                              
after  a  crime, it  was  prosecuted  as  a  class B  felony,  but                                                              
resulted in a class C felony.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ, "That's the way it goes."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  offered that it would be  considered a lesser                                                              
included offense.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-60, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES remarked  that  if all  [the  aforementioned                                                              
felonies] were included  in [HB 210], then that  problem would not                                                              
exist.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER  indicated that that was the  standard he was                                                              
using:  penetration is what separates felony from misdemeanor.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  inquired whether  a class C  felony involved                                                              
penetration.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER said it did.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  said it did not [necessarily].   A class                                                              
C [felony sexual assault] can be contact, he added.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES  asked if there  was a dividing  line between                                                              
[class B  felony and class C  felony sexual assaults],  and if so,                                                              
what it consisted of.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MEYER said  he  thought a  class  C felony  sexual                                                              
assault involved penetration.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0061                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT, to clarify, said:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Involving the  same age groups, and the same  factors in                                                                   
     regards   to  whether  someone's   a  prison  guard   or                                                                   
     something like  that, sexual contact is always  one step                                                                   
     below  sexual penetration.   ... Sexual  assault in  the                                                                   
     first degree  always involves  penetration.  You've  got                                                                   
     a  form of  sexual  contact  involving the  same  actors                                                                   
     that  is the  second-degree  offense.   There  are  also                                                                   
     forms   of  sexual   penetration   with  new   elements,                                                                   
     involving  new  actors  and   new  conditions  on  their                                                                   
     relationship   vis-a-vis  each   other;  that  is   also                                                                   
     classified as  a second-degree offense.  But  ... sexual                                                                   
     contact,  which is  mere touching,  is  always one  step                                                                   
     below  sexual penetration  involving the  same actors  -                                                                   
     the same victim and the same offender.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES said it  seems to  her that [prosecution  of                                                              
the crime of sexual contact] ought not to be open forever.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER said he agreed.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  suggested  that the  committee  adopt  Conceptual                                                              
Amendment 2.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  noted that one of the forms  of [a class                                                              
C  felony sexual  assault]  says  "engages in  sexual  penetration                                                              
with a  person 18  or 19 years  of age who  the offender  knows is                                                              
committed to  the custody of the  Department of Health  and Social                                                              
Services  ...  and the  offender  is  the  legal guardian  of  the                                                              
person."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  suggested,  then,  that  [the forms  of  class  C                                                              
felony  sexual  assault  which   involve  sexual  penetration]  be                                                              
exempted from Conceptual Amendment 2.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  acknowledged the difficulty  in drafting                                                              
such an exemption within Conceptual Amendment 2.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG  expressed  confidence that  Mr.  Luckhaupt  could                                                              
accomplish it.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LUCKHAUPT suggested  that Conceptual  Amendment  2 could  say                                                              
that  class  C [felonies]  that  involve  sexual  penetration  are                                                              
included in  the unlimited statute  of limitations.  If  such were                                                              
agreed upon, he  confirmed that he could develop  language to that                                                              
effect.   He then described  the agreed-upon Conceptual  Amendment                                                              
2 as  being "unclassified,  class A, and  class B sexual  assaults                                                              
involving   adult   victims   are   all   unlimited   statute   of                                                              
limitations; class  C felonies ...  involving adult  victims where                                                              
sexual  penetration  is involved  are  also unlimited  statute  of                                                              
limitations."   He  added that  the  other class  C felony  sexual                                                              
assault crimes  retain the ten-year  statute of limitations  under                                                              
current law.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0330                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  asked if there  were any objections  to Conceptual                                                              
Amendment 2.   There  being no objection,  Conceptual  Amendment 2                                                              
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0340                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  made   a  motion  to  adopt  Conceptual                                                              
Amendment 3, "to  erase the differences between  the criminal code                                                              
and  the civil  code."   He explained  that since  the statute  of                                                              
limitations is being  removed from the criminal  code, the statute                                                              
of limitations should also be removed from the civil code.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0356                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  objected,  and noted that  Conceptual Amendment  3                                                              
would constitute tort reform.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0391                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was taken.   Representative Berkowitz  voted for                                                              
Conceptual  Amendment  3.  Representatives   Meyer,  James,  Ogan,                                                              
Coghill,  and Rokeberg voted  against it.   Therefore,  Conceptual                                                              
Amendment 3 failed by a vote of 1-5.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  added that  he thought [that  failure to                                                              
pass  Conceptual  Amendment 3]  leads  to  a very  bizarre  result                                                              
whereby   the   state   is   allowed   to   go   after   offenders                                                              
[indefinitely] but the victims will not have the same ability.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG   noted  that  Conceptual   Amendment  3   was  an                                                              
interesting  concept;  because  it  was  such a  major  issue,  he                                                              
suggested that  Representative Berkowitz create  other legislation                                                              
to accomplish such a goal.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  remarked that  [such  a  change to  the                                                              
civil code] did fit under the title of HB 210.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0425                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JAMES   moved  to  report  HB  210,   version  22-                                                              
LS0782\C,  Luckhaupt, 4/3/01,  as amended,  out of committee  with                                                              
individual  recommendations  and  the accompanying  fiscal  notes.                                                              
There  being no  objection, CSHB  210(JUD) was  reported from  the                                                              
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                

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