Legislature(2007 - 2008)BELTZ 211

03/26/2007 01:30 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 84 TESTING & PACKAGING OF CIGARETTES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 84(JUD) Out of Committee
*+ SB 112 STATUTE OF LIMITATION FOR SEXUAL OFFENSES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 26, 2007                                                                                         
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Hollis French, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 112                                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating to  the  statute  of limitations  for  certain                                                               
sexual  offenses  and permitting  causes  of  action for  certain                                                               
sexual offenses that would otherwise  be barred by the statute of                                                               
limitations to be brought during a certain one-year period."                                                                    
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 84                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to the  burning capability of  cigarettes being                                                               
sold  or offered  for sale,  or possessed  for sale;  relating to                                                               
compliance  certifications by  tobacco  product manufacturers,  a                                                               
directory  of  tobacco  product manufacturers,  the  affixing  of                                                               
stamps  to  cigarette packages,  and  cigarette  tax stamps;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     MOVED CSSB 84(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 112                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STATUTE OF LIMITATION FOR SEXUAL OFFENSES                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) FRENCH                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
03/12/07       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/12/07       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
03/26/07 (S) JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  84                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TESTING & PACKAGING OF CIGARETTES                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) OLSON                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/14/07       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/14/07       (S)       L&C, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
02/27/07       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/27/07       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/27/07       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/06/07       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/06/07       (S)       Moved CSSB  84(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/06/07       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/07/07       (S)       L&C RPT CS  3DP 1NR 1AM   NEW TITLE                                                                    
03/07/07       (S)       DP: ELLIS, DAVIS, STEVENS                                                                              
03/07/07       (S)       NR: HOFFMAN                                                                                            
03/07/07       (S)       AM: BUNDE                                                                                              
03/21/07       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/21/07       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/21/07       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/26/07       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Dr. David Sperbeck, Clinical & Forensic Psychologist and                                                                        
Pediatric Neuropsychologist                                                                                                     
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke in support of SB 112                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Name deleted from electronic minutes at request of testifier                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke in support of SB 112                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Sandra Russell                                                                                                                  
Kotzebue, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke in support of SB 112                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Nelson Page, Attorney                                                                                                           
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:   Spoke in support of SB 112                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Mary Gail Frawley-Odea, Psychologist                                                                                        
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke in support of SB 112                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Joelle Casteix, Southwest Regional Director                                                                                     
Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)                                                                            
Orange County, CA                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke in support of SB 112                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Elsie Boudreau                                                                                                                  
St Mary's, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke in support of SB 112                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
James Niksik Sr.                                                                                                                
St Michael, AK                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke in support of SB 112                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Edward Kelly                                                                                                                    
Yukon Delta, AK                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke in support of SB 112                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HOLLIS   FRENCH  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at 1:32:55  PM. Present at the call to                                                             
order  were   Senator  Wielechowski,  Senator   Huggins,  Senator                                                               
Therriault, and Chair French.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
        SB 112-STATUTE OF LIMITATION FOR SEXUAL OFFENSES                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
1:33:09 PM                                                                                                                  
CHAIR FRENCH announced the consideration of SB 112. Identifying                                                                 
himself as the sponsor, he read the following into the record:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     SB 112 creates a one  year period in which civil action                                                                    
     may be  brought against  felony sexual assault  and sex                                                                    
     abuse cases  that are currently  time barred  by Alaska                                                                    
     statute of limitations laws.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska law  was amended in  2001 to remove  the statute                                                                    
     of limitations  for all felony  sexual assault  and sex                                                                    
     abuse  cases.  Unfortunately,  with  this  change,  one                                                                    
     class  of  victims remains  left  out;  those who  were                                                                    
     assaulted while  the old statute of  limitations was in                                                                    
     effect.  SB  112  cures   this  injustice  by  allowing                                                                    
     victims with legitimate claims  the opportunity to have                                                                    
     their day in court.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Experts  have found  there are  several reasons  that a                                                                    
     victim,  especially a  child,  will  not report  sexual                                                                    
     abuse right  away. Numerous studies  have shown  it can                                                                    
     take  years for  a victim  to fully  realize that  they                                                                    
     were abused and to understand  the effect the abuse has                                                                    
     had on their life.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Sex  abuse and  sex assault  is illegal,  regardless of                                                                    
     the reason  it was  not disclosed.  SB 112  allows past                                                                    
     victims the  same rights they would  have under today's                                                                    
     law; the right to  file suit against their perpetrators                                                                    
     no matter when the abuse occurred.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FRENCH asked Dr. Sperbeck to  shed light on the reasons for                                                               
the delay and  the reasons many victims  have difficulty speaking                                                               
out about their abuse.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:34:51 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  DAVID  SPERBECK,  Clinical  and  Forensic  Psychologist  and                                                               
Pediatric  Neuropsychologist, spoke  in  support of  SB 112.  The                                                               
hospital  where  he  currently   works  admits  several  thousand                                                               
children a  year and about  10 percent are sexual  abuse victims.                                                               
He  said  from  his  perspective  the cost  of  sexual  abuse  of                                                               
children is astronomical,  in the personal arena and  in terms of                                                               
the  financial  costs of  treating  these  victims. Child  sexual                                                               
abuse victims  are at  higher risk for  drug abuse,  pelvic pain,                                                               
anxiety  and  psychiatric  disorders.  They are  more  likely  to                                                               
engage  in risky  behaviors, they  have  more medical  diagnoses,                                                               
more depression, and post traumatic stress than other children.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Personally  these victims  are less  involved in  school, family,                                                               
community and their peers. SB  112 will provide these sex assault                                                               
victims  the  opportunity  to   pursue  accountability  from  the                                                               
molesters,  sexual   assaulters  and  perpetrators   rather  than                                                               
shifting that cost  onto the state. Opening  the courthouse doors                                                               
to these victims  is very important; it's  been demonstrated that                                                               
holding  these sexual  perpetrators  and the  agencies that  hire                                                               
them accountable  is an  important way  of notifying  a community                                                               
about who these  people are. SB 112 levels the  playing field and                                                               
permits this small group of  victims some access to civil action.                                                               
Older crimes can  and must be solved, and this  form of remedy is                                                               
very important, he stated.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:38:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  FRENCH said  he is  familiar with  his work  as the  state                                                               
psychiatrist,  and  he  would  see him  in  court  testifying  in                                                               
opposition to people who would assert an insanity defense.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR.   SPERBECK  explained   that  he   was  the   state  forensic                                                               
psychologist   in  all   criminal   matters  including   insanity                                                               
defenses. In 1984 the State  of Alaska functionally abolished the                                                               
insanity defense  and for  the last  20 years a  big part  of his                                                               
practice has been  going to court and explaining that  the law no                                                               
longer applies in Alaska.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FRENCH asked  him to  tell about  his qualifications  as a                                                               
pediatric neuropsychologist.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. SPERBECK said he examines children  between 4 and 18 years of                                                               
age who  have neurological or psychiatric  disorders that warrant                                                               
hospital-level treatment.  They are  from all  over the  state. A                                                               
very  predictable  percentage of  these  children  are sex  abuse                                                               
victims. It is very difficult  to impossible for children to talk                                                               
about  this,  especially  at  certain ages.  They  don't  have  a                                                               
language for discussing or conceptualizing  sex abuse so they may                                                               
not talk  about it  for years,  if ever. They  may be  subject to                                                               
community ostracism and rejection if  they talk about having been                                                               
sexually  abused  by powerful  persons  in  the community.  "It's                                                               
something that  they are psychologically incapable  of discussing                                                               
at certain ages," he stated.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FRENCH said  it's difficult for people  who aren't involved                                                               
in this field  to understand why a child would  not report an act                                                               
of sex assault or sex abuse.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. SPERBECK said it is difficult  for adults to understand why a                                                               
child wouldn't  act in  his or  her own  best interest.  But it's                                                               
very confusing  for a  young person  to see  an older  person who                                                               
seems  to  love  them and  who  has  a  great  deal of  power  or                                                               
influence  in their  life as  someone who  is also  abusing them.                                                               
They  have difficulty  expressing themselves  and many  predators                                                               
instill  guilt and  fear in  the child.  Those are  emotions that                                                               
more mature adults  may be able to deal with,  but children often                                                               
aren't capable of handling those  emotions. Often they don't have                                                               
a vocabulary  to competently express  what is going on.  They may                                                               
act out their  anxiety rather than speaking  out. "Typically that                                                               
is the  way it is expressed  - in behavioral acting  out." Sexual                                                               
abuse in  our community must  be stopped; it is  dehumanizing and                                                               
it  creates more  sexual  offenders.  To psychologically  control                                                               
their anger,  some victims will  visit the same abuse  on another                                                               
person to  prove that they can  control what happened to  them in                                                               
the past.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:43:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator McGuire joined the meeting.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:45:08 PM                                                                                                                    
[Name deleted  from electronic minutes at  request of testifier],                                                               
representing herself,  said she  was born and  raised in  a small                                                               
village on the Yukon River in  the 1960s. She was the oldest girl                                                               
of nine  children. "We had  a full house." By  the age of  12 she                                                               
had adult responsibilities and acted  as a surrogate parent. Both                                                               
of  her parents  worked, she  said.  At about  age 12  or 13  the                                                               
missionary living  next door  targeted her, but  she was  able to                                                               
fend him off "every time he tried  to get physical. But it took a                                                               
toll."  Referring to  the question  of why  a child  wouldn't say                                                               
anything, she  said consider  the social  and economic  status of                                                               
villages  back in  the 1960s.  Children were  not protected,  and                                                               
"none of  us felt  that we had  a safe haven  for anyone  to talk                                                               
to." The missionary was supposed to  be the protector, but he was                                                               
the tormenter,  and it really  puts a child  at a loss.  She said                                                               
she left home to go to boarding  school to be safe, and she still                                                               
carries the guilt about leaving her younger siblings vulnerable.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
[Deleted name] said she didn't talk  to anyone, but she feels she                                                               
is one of the lucky ones because  she could fight him off, "but I                                                               
had to fight  him for many, many years." It  wasn't until she was                                                               
about  35  that  she  sought  counseling  because  she  had  such                                                               
difficulty  with communication  and relationships.  She remembers                                                               
she had difficulty  saying good morning to anyone when  she was a                                                               
teenager. When  she was  about 40, she  knew that  the missionary                                                               
had moved to  Canada. She told an ex-teacher that  he is probably                                                               
hurting other  girls, but "they  didn't want to believe  me about                                                               
that." But  the point is that  she was about 40  years old before                                                               
she  could speak  to  "someone who  might have  been  able to  do                                                               
something about it."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
[Deleted name] said she supports  the bill because she would like                                                               
an  opportunity to  get legal  assistance for  the people  in her                                                               
village. She  knows there are  a lot  of people who  were abused,                                                               
but they're afraid to say  something. If someone provided healing                                                               
workshops for the  community, she thinks they  would be attended.                                                               
The  mission could  provide the  money. "There  has been  so much                                                               
trauma in  the history of villages  that we have to  step out and                                                               
talk about  what happened to  us so that  we can prevent  it from                                                               
happening to other  children." She said it is  getting better and                                                               
people are  beginning to be able  to talk about it,  but there is                                                               
still a lot of fear.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:51:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SANDRA  RUSSELL said  she is  a single  mother who  was born  and                                                               
raised in  Kotzebue. She is the  middle child of 10  siblings and                                                               
she is now 48 years old. At age  11 she was raped by the chief of                                                               
police  who was  also  a good  friend of  her  parents. "Here  is                                                               
supposed to  be this  person who  is supposed  to protect  me and                                                               
uphold the law, and he was  also a licensed foster parent for the                                                               
State of  Alaska, and that  is why I  wanted to come  forward and                                                               
tell what happened  to me as a child." She  said this person will                                                               
never be  charged for the crimes  against her. He later  became a                                                               
pastor for  the Kotzebue yearly  meeting, which is also  known as                                                               
the Kotzebue  Friends Church. He  was a pastor in  other villages                                                               
and he  was blue-ticketed  from the village  of Selawick.  He had                                                               
raped other women  in this region. She said she  has gone through                                                               
her own personal  hell, and it took 37 years  before she was able                                                               
to say  anything about  this. It  is mostly  because there  is so                                                               
much  shame,  and  she  has mixed  emotions.  She  has  attempted                                                               
suicide twice  and still has  suicidal thoughts. She  has battled                                                               
with alcoholism, but she is  now in social services helping other                                                               
families in need.  She supports SB 112. She  explained that there                                                               
are reasons  why many victims have  not come forward, and  it has                                                               
to do with  shame and guilt. "You feel dirty,  and I think that's                                                               
why we never  say anything, and we never did  say anything." When                                                               
she found out  her abuser was a foster parent,  it "really pissed                                                               
me off because  I know that he could be  molesting other children                                                               
also."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:55:54 PM                                                                                                                    
NELSON PAGE, speaking  on his own behalf, said he  is an attorney                                                               
who has  worked with sexual abuse  cases and he supports  SB 112.                                                               
The previous  speaker summarized what  he has experienced  in his                                                               
law practice.  On many  occasions he has  spoken with  people who                                                               
have been abused  as children, and it takes years  for them to be                                                               
able to come forward. Sometimes  it takes decades to process what                                                               
occurred. SB  112 is intended to  fill the gap in  the statute of                                                               
limitations.  The gap  is unconscionable,  he said.  He described                                                               
picking a jury in a small community  for a sexual abuse case of a                                                               
minor. He  had to go through  30 panelists before finding  a jury                                                               
that  had no  personal experience  with  sexual abuse  or had  no                                                               
close relative  with that experience.  It is a  pervasive problem                                                               
that needs  to be dealt  with. "When  people are finally  able to                                                               
come forward and deal  with it and try to get  some kind of legal                                                               
redress,   there  shouldn't   be  these   kinds  of   statute  of                                                               
limitations obstacles."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:58:11 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  MARY GAIL  FRAWLEY-ODEA, Psychologist,  said she  has worked                                                               
clinically with  sexual abuse  survivors for  over 25  years. She                                                               
has also  taught and written  widely about  it. She was  the only                                                               
psychiatrist  invited  to  address  the  Conference  of  Catholic                                                               
Bishops at  their seminal meeting  in 2002, which was  devoted to                                                               
sexual abuse.  She wants to  speak to why victims  don't disclose                                                               
the abuse early  in life and what factors encourage  them to come                                                               
forward with it at some point.  Almost one third of all women and                                                               
up to  one fifth of all  men were sexually abused  before the age                                                               
of  18.  Most  were  perpetrated  by  family,  acquaintances,  or                                                               
friends.  Most  victims  experience serious  abuse  of  unclothed                                                               
genital  contact,  like  fondling  or  masturbation.  Almost  one                                                               
quarter  of victims  experience  anal or  vaginal penetration  or                                                               
oral sex. The  long-term impacts of this  abuse are psychological                                                               
deficits and brain function disruption  that can be long lasting.                                                               
Cognition,   self   esteem,   the   ability   to   form   healthy                                                               
relationships, and  parenting are  often significantly  harmed by                                                               
sexual  abuse. Over  80 percent  of female  prostitutes and  male                                                               
hustlers  have   histories  of  sexual  abuse.   Sexually  abused                                                               
survivors are  two to three  times more  likely to make  at least                                                               
one serious  suicide attempt.  Sometimes they  die, she  said. An                                                               
archbishop  in Baltimore  equated  sexual abuse  with murder  and                                                               
called it  evil above all else.  "Surely it is soul  murder," she                                                               
stated.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR.  FRAWLEY-ODEA  said  secrecy  is the  cornerstone  of  sexual                                                               
abuse,  and perpetrators  may directly  threaten victims  to keep                                                               
them from  telling. A  person's abusive  foster mother  said, "If                                                               
you tell even one  person that you have sex with  me, I will tell                                                               
your younger  brother that you raped  me; I will get  rid of you,                                                               
and  he will  become  my  lover." This  victim  felt  he was  his                                                               
brother's protector and  he would never put him  in jeopardy. The                                                               
foster mother's  threat assured secrecy, she  stated. Victims may                                                               
be afraid that  no one will believe them if  they tell. Denial is                                                               
the most common first reaction,  which can be adaptive to victims                                                               
instead of  risking rejection  or scorn.  Victims often  care for                                                               
their  abusers, she  said. The  victim  protects the  perpetrator                                                               
while hoping the abuser will heal  and stop the abuse. The abuser                                                               
may  provide  for  the  child   in  meaningful  ways  that  makes                                                               
disclosure  seem disloyal.  An abusive  teacher may  also be  the                                                               
only  adult from  whom  the child  receives  time, interest,  and                                                               
affection.  Perpetrators are  adept at  choosing victims  who are                                                               
needy. Some  provide concrete bribes,  like money  and vacations,                                                               
which may make  the child feel dirty and complicit  in the abuse.                                                               
One  survivor was  abused  by a  priest who  took  him to  hockey                                                               
games. This  man told no one  about his abuse until  he read that                                                               
the priest  denied allegations from others.  Some survivors don't                                                               
disclose because they feel responsible  for their abuse. They are                                                               
filled  with  self-loathing,  guilt   and  shame.  Disclosure  is                                                               
delayed  because the  victims'  literally turn  their minds  away                                                               
from  the abuse.  Only later  do they  realize that  something is                                                               
wrong - perhaps when their  lives seem less functional than their                                                               
peers.   When  the   abuser  is   affiliated  with   a  religious                                                               
denomination, government  agency, or  school the victim  may fear                                                               
that  the institution  will retaliate  or  threaten to  retaliate                                                               
against family members.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Sexual abuse victims  who finally tell their secrets do  so for a                                                               
number  of reasons.  Their lives  may be  sufficiently unworkable                                                               
that they seek  therapy or counseling. It may  take awhile before                                                               
their problems  are linked with  the sexual abuse  they suffered.                                                               
It may be  even longer before they contemplate  telling family or                                                               
friends what  happened. It's a  difficult decision to  identify a                                                               
family  or community  members as  a sexual  abuser. People  often                                                               
respond  by  supporting the  perpetrator,  she  stated. When  two                                                               
families went to  court in Phoenix over a  priest molesting their                                                               
daughters, they had  their tires slashed and  they received death                                                               
threats.  Understandably, survivors  hesitate  to disclose  their                                                               
abuse widely  when they face scorn  and ridicule and there  is no                                                               
hope of bringing  accountability to the perpetrator.  SB 112 give                                                               
survivors motivation to take the risk.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The desire survivors  have to protect others  and provide support                                                               
for other victims of their  abuser can not be underestimated. One                                                               
survivor  confronted  her  parents  about the  abuse  her  father                                                               
perpetrated only when  her father was designated as  a child care                                                               
resource  for her  brother's  baby. The  victim  of priest  abuse                                                               
mentioned previously  came forward only to  support other victims                                                               
who  had  spoken out.  SB  112  allows  survivors to  hold  their                                                               
perpetrators accountable  and is crucial in  empowering survivors                                                               
to  use  their voices  to  help  others by  publicly  identifying                                                               
sexual predators.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DR.   FRAWLEY-ODEA  said   that   representatives  from   various                                                               
organizations will oppose SB 112,  but it's important to remember                                                               
that  less than  half  of all  abusers  perpetrate through  their                                                               
association   with   a   school,  church,   daycare   or   social                                                               
organization. This  bill is for  every sexual abuse  survivor. If                                                               
this  bill passes  she  hopes that  legislators  will remind  the                                                               
media and the  public that the victims  of parents, grandparents,                                                               
siblings,  neighbors,  and friends  of  the  family now  have  an                                                               
opportunity  to  validate  others  by  identifying  their  sexual                                                               
abuser. Organizations  that have  responded adequately  to sexual                                                               
abusers have  no reason  to speak against  the bill;  they should                                                               
support  it given  its  potential to  help  heal survivors  while                                                               
protecting potential victims, she stated.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:07:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR McGUIRE asked how many  other states have adopted similar                                                               
legislation. There is  no statute of limitations  for murder, and                                                               
when Dr. Frawley-Odea called sexual  abuse a soul-murder, "that's                                                               
exactly what  I think it  is." It's  logical that there  are many                                                               
barriers for  why a sexual abuse  survivor may not speak  up in a                                                               
certain time period.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR.  FRAWLEY-ODEA  said  she  knows  California  had  a  one-year                                                               
window, and Maine may be considering it now.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FRENCH  said  he  understands  that  California  passed  a                                                               
similar bill  in 2000, and Wisconsin,  Washington D.C., Delaware,                                                               
Maine, Pennsylvania,  Ohio, Illinois,  and Idaho are  all working                                                               
on similar legislation.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS asked  if she  makes any  punishment corollaries                                                               
with murder since she correlates this crime to murder.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR. FRAWLEY-ODEA  said it is  horrifying when  these perpetrators                                                               
get caught, which  only a small minority are,  but they typically                                                               
get  very  light  sentences.  They  should  have  long  sentences                                                               
because  they have  extremely high  recidivism  rates, and  often                                                               
they  cannot  be  cured  or  stopped.  They  usually  don't  have                                                               
remorse, and when  they are allowed out in the  public, they will                                                               
re-offend.  The advantage  of  this  bill is  that  they will  be                                                               
identified, so even  if they are not prosecuted,  people can know                                                               
their names. Some work in daycare centers, she warned.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:09:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR FRENCH  clarified that criminal  statutes were  modified to                                                               
remove  the statute  of limitations  going  forward for  criminal                                                               
prosecutions  of  sex  abuse  of  a  minor.  You  can't  do  that                                                               
retrospectively,  you can't  go back  and change  the statute  of                                                               
limitations  for  a  crime  in  the past.  It's  an  expos  facto                                                               
problem.  It can  probably be  done  for a  statute dealing  with                                                               
suing for  money, but there  will be a  constitutional challenge.                                                               
"I believe  it will survive that  challenge," he said. But  it is                                                               
not about putting someone in jail.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS said some states  are retaining people in custody                                                               
after their release date because of recidivism.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:11:17 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. FRAWLEY-ODEA  said it is  crucial to  have some way  to track                                                               
these people  once they are released  from prison - if  they even                                                               
go to  prison. For the most  part these people will  do it again,                                                               
she stated.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS asked about lie detector tests.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DR. FRAWLEY-ODEA  said there was  an interesting study  in Oregon                                                               
where people  participated in  a polygraph  interview, subsequent                                                               
to   a  clinical   interview.  Under   the  clinical   interview,                                                               
perpetrators  acknowledge having  one  to two  victims each,  and                                                               
under polygraph that number went  up to eleven, on average. Under                                                               
the clinical interview they admitted  to abusing girls, but under                                                               
the polygraph almost all admitted  to abusing boys as well. Under                                                               
clinical  interview,   65  percent  said  they   were  abused  as                                                               
children,  which  is the  clinical  mores,  but under  the  other                                                               
interview it went  down to about 30 percent.  She interprets this                                                               
as  perpetrators being  skilled  in getting  sympathy. They  know                                                               
they will  get a better deal  if they are viewed  as victims. The                                                               
clinical percentage may be too high, she concluded.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:14:27 PM                                                                                                                    
JOELLE CASTEIX,  Southwest Regional Director,  Survivor's Network                                                               
of  those Abused  by Priests  (SNAP), said  she is  an accidental                                                               
pioneer and  an example of  why SB 112  and its civil  window are                                                               
essential to  the safety  of children  in Alaska.  The California                                                               
window  has  saved  thousands of  children  from  abuse;  exposed                                                               
predators  across the  state,  many of  whom  are still  abusing;                                                               
helped  law enforcement  put predators  behind  bars; and  helped                                                               
hundreds of children  who were abused and  discarded before being                                                               
given their  day in court.  A civil window  is the only  way that                                                               
many serial  molesters in Alaska  can be exposed, and  how Alaska                                                               
children can  be safer right now.  The U.S. federal court  in San                                                               
Diego did find the law constitutional.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASTIEX said because she was  able to sue the diocese and the                                                               
abuser with that civil window, she  was able to expose Dr. Thomas                                                               
Hodgman and  to get  documents proving he  was a  molester. Those                                                               
documents were  hidden from her for  17 years while she  was told                                                               
that  the abuse  never  took  place. She  was  able  to take  the                                                               
documents  and  alert  the  community that  it  was  harboring  a                                                               
molester and a  criminal - a criminal that was  given a free pass                                                               
by  the Catholic  Church.  Without the  legal  system, she  would                                                               
never  have been  able to  expose him  or keep  other girls  from                                                               
experiencing the same situation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASTIEX spoke  of two of the worst  pedophiles in California,                                                               
former  priests Michael  Baker and  Michael  Wempe. Father  Roger                                                               
Mahony  fought all  the way  to the  U.S. Supreme  Court to  keep                                                               
their personnel files  secret even after he  acknowledged that he                                                               
know  Baker  was  abusing  kids. Because  of  the  civil  window,                                                               
victims of  both of these  men were  able to pursue  their cases.                                                               
Then  younger victims  who would  have never  had the  courage to                                                               
come forward,  reported their current  abuse to  law enforcement.                                                               
They had solid evidence that led  to the arrest of both men. They                                                               
are now  behind bars and  that would never have  happened without                                                               
the  civil window,  she stated.  If  the victims  had named  them                                                               
publicly without  the backing  of the  courts, the  abusers could                                                               
have sued  for slander. The  media would have ignored  the claims                                                               
and more kids could have suffered.  They are only two of the many                                                               
perpetrators  exposed  in the  civil  window  who are  now  being                                                               
pursued by law enforcement. For  the first time victims could use                                                               
the  legal  system  to  make  sure that  what  happened  to  them                                                               
wouldn't happen to another child.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASTIEX  said she  was a vulnerable  child from  an alcoholic                                                               
home. Her  high school  and church were  her sanctuaries,  but 11                                                               
men at  the school were  credibly accused and/or sued  for abuse.                                                               
Documents  were released  for all  of them  as a  result of  this                                                               
civil  window. She  learned that  the abuse  was 100  times worse                                                               
than anyone had  known, and the victims were  vindicated and able                                                               
to warn others. She said she  was molested over a two-year period                                                               
by choir  director Thomas Hodgman,  starting when she was  15. He                                                               
threatened  to kill  her  if  she told,  and  that  no one  would                                                               
believe her  anyway. She  went to school  officials and  they did                                                               
nothing.  She became  pregnant  and had  an  abortion that  still                                                               
affects her everyday. She also has vaginal warts.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CASTIEX suffered  for the  next  ten years  and watched  her                                                               
mother kill herself with alcohol over  the pain and shame of what                                                               
happened  to her  daughter. She  said  she lost  all high  school                                                               
friends and trusted  no one. She suffered  from bad relationships                                                               
and suicidal thoughts. She hated  herself, but finally decided to                                                               
heal to spite the people who  had hurt and abandoned her. In 2001                                                               
she contacted  the diocese  to volunteer to  help it  address the                                                               
sexual abuse crisis.  She was offered a seat on  the diocese lay-                                                               
review board  to show the county  that there was no  other abuse.                                                               
She honestly  thought she  could make a  difference. But  the six                                                               
months she was  on the committee it did not  review a single case                                                               
and it  was told  to ignore  press reports.  There were  no notes                                                               
taken during  the meeting. "We  were a  puppet with no  power, no                                                               
credibility, and no  means to protect children, and  that was how                                                               
the diocese wanted  it." She stepped down from  the committee and                                                               
filed a lawsuit during the one-year civil window.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASTIEX  said after two  years of mediation and  stalling, 87                                                               
cases against  the diocese were  settled for $100  million, which                                                               
was just  a slap  on the  wrist. The diocese  was debt  free less                                                               
than a year  later. In May 2005, most of  the documents regarding                                                               
the civil  cases were released  to the  public and the  furor was                                                               
overwhelming.  It showed  the  church knew  about  abuse and  the                                                               
official didn't  care. People were  transferred, asked  to resign                                                               
and  quietly  hidden.  "An  entire  generation  of  children  was                                                               
destroyed to  protect a few  men from  scandal." She said  no one                                                               
can call her a  liar anymore, and no one can tell  her it was her                                                               
fault. Girls will  now be safer from Thomas Hodgman  because of a                                                               
law like SB 112.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CASTIEX  said  the  documents were  not  exposed  until  the                                                               
lawsuit, and  she knows that  similar documents exist  in Alaska.                                                               
She  spoke of  all the  signed documents  in her  case. Only  the                                                               
truth  will protect  children.  The church  in  Alaska, with  its                                                               
opposition to  this bill,  probably doesn't  care enough.  But SB                                                               
112 does care.  People were able to expose  150 perpetrators that                                                               
the  church had  tried  to  hide and  rings  of priest  shuffling                                                               
between California, Idaho, Arizona,  Alaska, and Oregon were also                                                               
exposed.  Now  there  are numerous  perpetrators  under  criminal                                                               
investigation.  In conclusion,  SB  112 is  important because  it                                                               
allows survivors of sexual abuse  to use the tried-and-true legal                                                               
system to  help keep children of  today safe from abuse.  It aids                                                               
law  enforcement  to  prosecute molesters  by  unearthing  hidden                                                               
evidence at no cost to  the taxpayer. It forces all organizations                                                               
to beef up child protection policies.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:25:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR McGUIRE thanked her said she is very proud of her.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:26:50 PM                                                                                                                    
ELSIE  BOUDREAU  said  her  Yupik  name is  Apugen;  she  is  the                                                               
youngest daughter  of the  late Edgar and  Theresa Francis  of St                                                               
Mary's,  the  granddaughter  of  the  late  Alfred  and  Florence                                                               
Francis of Pilot Station, and  the late George and Martha Apengen                                                               
Peterson  of  Old  Andreafsky.   She  thanked  Chair  French  for                                                               
introducing SB  112 not  only as a  survivor of  childhood sexual                                                               
abuse,  but also  as  an advocate  for those  have  not yet  come                                                               
forward.  She is  advocating for  those who  are unable  to speak                                                               
about the  crime that was  committed against them when  they were                                                               
children. This is  "a meager attempt to make a  difference in the                                                               
life of even just one child."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOUDREAU said  she was 10 years old when  she boarded a plane                                                               
to Nome  to spend the summer  with her oldest sister.  All I knew                                                               
before  that day  was  my  friends, my  family  and  life in  the                                                               
village  so Nome  was  a big  city.  She said  her  abuser was  a                                                               
priest, a  family friend, and a  father figure who she  had every                                                               
reason to trust. His name was  Father Poole, or Jim as her sister                                                               
and brother-in-law called him.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
She can  remember the fist time  she was sexually abused,  but at                                                               
the time she didn't know what it  was called. She and a couple of                                                               
friends were called  into Father Poole's office. "He  lined us up                                                               
against the wall  and started asking us questions." He  told me I                                                               
was much  more mature  than the  other girls  and that's  when it                                                               
started. I sat on  his lap and he would French  kiss me. He would                                                               
tell me  that he was  my brother,  father, friend and  lover. She                                                               
has since had  memories of more detailed incidents  and she knows                                                               
that it was  too painful to remain  in her body. "I  was raped by                                                               
this priest, this man of God."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
She was plagued  by this priest every summer until  she was 19 at                                                               
which time she  wrote him a letter stating that  she never wanted                                                               
to be  alone with him again.  That is when my  healing began, she                                                               
stated. She  put it all behind  her not knowing that  she had the                                                               
right  to file  a  suit  against the  priest  or  the Church  and                                                               
without  knowing  that  the  statute  of  limitations  clock  was                                                               
ticking.  But when  her daughter  turned 10  she could  no longer                                                               
shield  the truth  from her  consciousness. Many  victims do  not                                                               
come forward until they are in their 30s, 40s or 50s.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SB 112  takes into account the  nature of sexual abuse  and would                                                               
allow for victims to have their  day in court. "I would recognize                                                               
the  power   imbalance  between  child  victims   and  the  adult                                                               
perpetrators and  those institutions  that enable such  crimes to                                                               
continue." When she  filed her civil suit she found  out that the                                                               
Church hierarchy knew that Father  Poole "had problems with young                                                               
girls." Instead of  addressing the problem, the  Church moved him                                                               
around to  further abuse.  He was  removed from  ministering only                                                               
after she filed suit, but that  was too late for the five girls--                                                               
now women--who have since come forward after years of silence.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOUDREAU  showed pictures  of other  girls who  were sexually                                                               
abused  and impregnated  by  Father Poole.  The  girl who  became                                                               
pregnant was told to blame it on  her father and she did that. He                                                               
served time in  jail. "This is not okay," she  stated. Alaska has                                                               
the highest  rate of child  sexual abuse  in the nation  and that                                                               
has been  the reality for  far too  long. Too many  children have                                                               
had their childhood stolen by an adult perpetrator.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SB  112  is  about  deterring  future  wrong  doing.  It's  about                                                               
protecting  our children  and grandchildren.  If such  a law  had                                                               
been  in place  when  she was  10, maybe  one  of Father  Poole's                                                               
earlier victims  would have  come forward  and she  wouldn't have                                                               
had to  endure the  sex abuse. Maybe  she wouldn't  have suffered                                                               
from  depression,  maybe  she   wouldn't  have  had  relationship                                                               
issues, and maybe she wouldn't have  had to deal with feelings of                                                               
shame, guilt, fear,  terror, and inferiority. Now she  works as a                                                               
victim advocate  and she  has spoken  to close  to 100  child sex                                                               
abuse victims in  Alaska. Many wonder what their  life would have                                                               
been like  if they  hadn't been sexually  abused. Many  just wish                                                               
that the  pain would go away,  like they have a  death wish. Many                                                               
have taken action  and are no longer with us;  they are no longer                                                               
able to  speak the truth, she  said. Most of the  victims she has                                                               
spoken  with say  they came  forward  so no  one else  has to  go                                                               
through what they did.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
She  commended  Chair  French  for  creating  an  incentive  that                                                               
enables  victims   to  publicly   expose  predators,   to  expose                                                               
institutions that enable  predators, that enforces accountability                                                               
and an incentive that enforces and encourages abuse prevention.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:37:03 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  NIKSIK SR.  from the  village of  St Michael  said he  was                                                               
sexually abused  by a deacon.  Once he  tried to tell  his father                                                               
and he  was whipped.  He was  told he was  "lying about  a person                                                               
that works  for God"  because they  don't do  that. That's  why I                                                               
wouldn't  say anything  to anybody,  he said.  It's difficult  to                                                               
talk about this  because it hurts a lot, but  the reason he wants                                                               
to speak in support  of SB 112 is to deter  future abuses such as                                                               
his. It  will also bring justice  to what happened to  him and to                                                               
others in the past.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NIKSIK SR.  said  he's  heard before  that  if  you get  the                                                               
village  elders to  follow you,  then everyone  else will  follow                                                               
behind. "Native people are spiritual."  They are easily converted                                                               
to religion. He  was an alter boy in the  Catholic Church and his                                                               
abuse happened  in the church  during catechism. When  the deacon                                                               
wanted to have  sex with you he would use  his finger and scratch                                                               
your  palm during  the  handshake for  peace.  "Nobody could  see                                                               
that," he said.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He wondered why he  had a deep rage that came  out when he drank;                                                               
he would lash out and hurt  someone--last time it was my wife. He                                                               
has  had  no  formal  counseling,  but  the  abuse  affected  him                                                               
greatly. It hurt  inside. He abuses alcohol to hide  the pain and                                                               
the shame and  that has caused him  to cycle in and  out of jail.                                                               
Then I saw Ken Russa's ad in  the Nome Nugget, he stated. When he                                                             
told Mr.  Russa about  his abuse  by a deacon  it felt  as though                                                               
something was lifted and he began  to understand why he felt this                                                               
rage. "It was  because I couldn't do anything. I  was a small boy                                                               
and he was a big man."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
My parents were devout Catholics,  who never drank any alcohol so                                                               
he thought  he'd be like  them, but  because of what  happened he                                                               
abuses  alcohol and  other drugs.  He  has tried  to forgive  the                                                               
Church for bringing  that deacon to his village, but  thus far he                                                               
hasn't been  successful in forgiving.  What happened to him  as a                                                               
child  changed his  life.  "It  made me  a  different person  and                                                               
sometimes I wish I could be  a totally different person than what                                                               
I am today." He tried to be  strong and not cry, but being strong                                                               
isn't  the answer.  Letting the  hurt out  is the  answer and  he                                                               
hopes that SB 112 passes so  that justice can be done for himself                                                               
and the many others who have  been abused. Many of the others who                                                               
this  deacon abused  are  like  me; they  are  still hurting,  he                                                               
stated.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:45:26 PM                                                                                                                    
EDWARD  KELLY said  he supports  SB 112.  He was  abused and  his                                                               
mother told  him to say nothing  bad about a priest.  "I know now                                                               
that not  all priests are  good people."  But it wasn't  until he                                                               
was 29 years old that he  found that self medication with alcohol                                                               
was not  working. He read  that the  Yukon Delta has  the highest                                                               
rate of sexual  abuse and as the father of  six kids he questions                                                               
what is being  done to protect our children. He  doesn't want his                                                               
children to  resort to  alcohol, but what  happened to  him could                                                               
happen to them. He  said he heard a lot of  truth in the previous                                                               
testimonies and  he doesn't want  anybody to try to  adjust their                                                               
life to something they couldn't know  better from. He said he had                                                               
to come face to face with some things,  but even at the age of 29                                                               
he couldn't deal  with sexual abuse. SB 112 is  important for our                                                               
children's safety  and our children's  children's safety;  it can                                                               
contribute to that. "Their lives are important," he emphasized.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:49:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR FRENCH advised  that he agreed to hold SB  112 so that both                                                               
sides  have  an  opportunity  to testify  before  it  leaves  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT noted  the fiscal note from  the Department of                                                               
Law  and asked  if  the  committee staff  would  inquire about  a                                                               
fiscal note from the court system.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR McGUIRE thanked  the testifiers who came  forward to tell                                                               
their stories  of victimization for  the benefit of  others. They                                                               
have just  revealed the deepest part  of their lives. It  is very                                                               
brave and it did not go unnoticed, she stated.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
            SB  84-TESTING & PACKAGING OF CIGARETTES                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
2:51:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR FRENCH announced the consideration of SB 84.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR McGUIRE motioned to adopt  Version O committee substitute                                                               
for SB 84, labeled 25-LS0596\O, as the working document.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FRENCH  articulated the reason  the bill was held  over was                                                               
to look  into the explicit references  to New York law.  One such                                                               
example  is on  page  6, line  4. He  and  several other  members                                                               
researched  that point  and although  he has  some qualms,  it is                                                               
apparent that  New York is becoming  the de facto leader  in this                                                               
subject. It's a  sort of bargain that states are  making with the                                                               
tobacco industry to  have one nationwide standard  in the absence                                                               
of federal  action. His  initial concerns  have been  reduced, he                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:52:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR McGUIRE  motioned to report  CSSB 84(JUD)  from committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:53:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI stated that  subsequent to his expression of                                                               
concern  about using  New York  statutes, he  received some  very                                                               
helpful  information.  Currently  eight other  states  explicitly                                                               
reference  the New  York  fire-safety  standards for  cigarettes,                                                               
which gives him  a degree of comfort. He weighed  the interest in                                                               
protecting the way  Alaska laws are crafted  against the interest                                                               
industry  has in  having  a  consistent standard  and  he has  no                                                               
objection to passing the bill along.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FRENCH  announced  that without  objection,  CSSB  84(JUD)                                                               
moves from committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair French adjourned the meeting at 2:53:54 PM.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects