OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – A proposal to significantly extend time limits for prosecuting sexual assault has cleared the Washington Legislature, along with a modification to the definition of sexual consent in some cases.
The proposal would entirely remove the statute of limitation for a group of the most serious sex crimes against children, including first through third-degree rape.
The House approved the bill 94-1 Wednesday; having been earlier approved by the Senate, it now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee for consideration.
The proposal would also alter consent rules by removing active resistance from the definition of third-degree rape: Instead the definition of the crime is modified to mean sex without consent – given by words or action – from the victim.
Limits for rape involving older victims would be extended to as much as twenty years, depending on the charge.
The current statute of limitations varies, but limits prosecuting some serious sex crimes against children after the victim’s 30th birthday, and some crimes against adults after as little as three years.