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SALEM -- Part of the public fury that grew over former Gov.Neil Goldschmidt's admission that he sexually abused an underage girl was that he could not be prosecuted for the crime -- the statute of limitations had expired long ago.Hunt's wife, Tonia Hunt, is executive director of the Children's Center of Clackamas County, which works with young abuse victims.As a result, he says, he hears stories on a daily basis about the terrible things that some adults do to minors.Despite the criminal nature of his abuse, Goldschmidt faced no chance of prosecution.The bill Hunt is pushing would apply to offenses that occurred before or after the law's effective date, but would not allow prosecutors to open old cases.
The proposal, contained in House Bill 3057, gets its first public hearing Monday and will likely generate a fight pitting prosecutors against defense attorneys.
A person under the age of 21 who operates a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants can be charged with a DUII, as well as other crimes and violations.
This article discusses the laws and consequences associated with a DUII offense committed in Oregon by a person under the age of 21.
Hunt says the Goldschmidt case is far from the sole reason he introduced the bill.
It's as much about reports of abuse within the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts as it is about Goldschmidt, he says.
In that case, the crime can be prosecuted any time before the victim turns 30, or within 12 years after the crime is reported to police or the Department of Human Services. "When you're in the work we're in, protecting children, you realize these kids need all the protection they can get because the effects are so devastating." Innocent defendants need protection, too, says Gail Meyer, lobbyist for the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.