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h_jud_2016a_2016-02-11t13:33:48z3 Hearing Summary

Date: 02/11/2016



Final

BILL SUMMARY for HB16-1260



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Refer House Bill 16-1260 to the Committee of the W PASS







03:59 PM -- HB16-1260



Representative Fields, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 16-1260, concerning extending the criminal statute of limitations for sexual assault to twenty years. Representative Fields explained the effect of the bill. Representative Fields responded to questions regarding potential overrides of the statute of limitations established by the bill. The following persons testified regarding HB 16-1260:



04:03 PM --
Ms. Marijo Rymer, representing the Arc of Colorado, testified on the bill from a neutral perspective. Committee members received a letter from Ms. Rymer about the bill (Attachment F). Ms. Rymer discussed the subjection of those with disabilities to sexual abuse, and asked the committee to consider this during its deliberations. Ms. Rymer responded to questions regarding the nature of her organization's neutral position. Discussion ensued regarding the ability of sexual assault victims with disabilities to more fully grasp the crimes perpetrated against them as they get older.



16HouseJud0211AttachF.pdf16HouseJud0211AttachF.pdf



04:12 PM --
Ms. Gloria Allred, representing the law firm of Allred, Maroko, and Goldberg, and the Women's Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Allred discussed her representation of women who have been victims of sexual assault, and the need to extend statutes of limitation for sexual assault. Ms. Allred discussed statutes of limitations for sexual assault in other states, and the circumstances that may prevent a victim from immediately reporting a sexual assault. Ms. Allred responded questions regarding the difficulties associated with defending oneself for a crime committed a long time ago, and certain social pressures that may be brought to bear in high-profile cases.





04:26 PM



Ms. Allred responded to questions regarding how long-dormant cases are brought to trial, and the impact of the removal of the statute of limitations for sexual assault on the rate of prosection for this crime. Discussion ensued regarding the reasons why statutes of limitations exist.



04:34 PM --
Ms. Laurie Rose Kepros, representing the Office of the State Public Defender and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Kepros discussed reasons why victims of sexual assault sometimes do not report their crimes, and explained how extending the statute of limitations on sexual assault may result in a prosecution against the wishes of the victim. Ms. Kepros explained the function of statutes of limitations. Ms. Kepros rebutted earlier testimony about sexual assault cases being brought forward long after they have allegedly taken place, and discussed the degradation of evidence and memory over time.





04:48 PM



Ms. Kepros rebutted certain testimony provided earlier. Discussion ensued regarding the degradation of memory and evidence over time. Discussion returned to situations in which sexual assault victims no longer wish to go forward with case prosecution. Ms. Kepros responded to questions regarding when the statute of limitations for sexual assault tolls under certain circumstances.



04:59 PM --
Mr. George Brauchler, representing the Eighteenth Judicial District and the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Brauchler explained why statutes of limitations exist, and why the statute of limitations should be extended for certain crimes. Mr. Brauchler addressed a forthcoming amendment. Mr. Brauchler responded to questions regarding circumstances under which the statute of limitations for a crime is not tolled until a later date. Mr. Brauchler responded to questions regarding the types of evidence that may come forward over time in a sexual assault case. Representative Melton clarified an earlier question.



05:09 PM --
Ms. Beth Ferrier, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Ferrier read a statement about her experiences as a victim of sexual assault, and her reasons for coming forward about the incident years later. She discussed a subsequent lawsuit and its effect on her life, and expressed support for the bill.



05:15 PM --
Ms. Jennifer Eyl, representing the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Eyl explained how the bill will benefit children, and discussed the reasons why the statute of limitations for sexual assault needs to be extended. Ms. Eyl responded to questions regarding the inability of the accused to mount an adequate defense many years after the alleged crime.



05:19 PM --
Mr. Craig Silverman, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Silverman discussed his experiences in litigating sexual assault cases, and the benefits of extending the statute of limitations for this crime.



05:24 PM --
Ms. Heidi Thomas, representing herself, testified in support of HB 16-1260. Ms. Thomas discussed her experiences as a victim of sexual assault, and the reasons why she was initially reluctant to come forward about the crime. Ms. Thomas expressed support for extending the statute of limitations for sexual assault. Ms. Thomas responded to questions regarding the use of power and intimidation in sexual assaults.



05:31 PM --
Ms. Kathi Fanning, representing the Center for Trauma and Resilience, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Fanning discussed her experiences in providing services for crime victims who have never talked about the crimes committed against them, even years later.



05:34 PM --
Ms. Kim Corban, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Corban discussed her experiences as a victim of sexual assault, and explained that trauma often prevents victims from coming forward about their crimes in a timely manner.



05:37 PM --
Ms. Karmen Carter, representing the Blue Bench, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Carter discussed the circumstances that cause sexual assault victims to not come forward with their stories, and the continued perpetration of crimes by those who are not prosecuted for their initial crimes. Ms. Carter discussed her organization's name.



05:43 PM --
Sheriff Bruce Hartman, representing Gilpin County and the County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in support of HB 16-1260. Sheriff Hartman discussed the benefits of extending the statute of limitations for sexual assault.



05:45 PM --
Ms. Becky Mustacchio, representing herself, discussed her experience as a victim of sexual assault as a child, and her subsequent decision to come forward about the crime. Ms. Mustacchio read a statement from Former Representative Debbie Stafford (Attachment G). Committee members received a table compiling information on sexual assault statutes of limitations in other states (Attachment H).



16HouseJud0211AttachG.pdf16HouseJud0211AttachG.pdf 16HouseJud0211AttachH.pdf16HouseJud0211AttachH.pdf



05:51 PM --
Ms. Alyssa Bowman, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Bowman recounted her experiences as a victim of sexual assault, and discussed her subsequent reporting of the crime and recovery.



05:55 PM --
Ms. Raana Simmons, representing the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Simmons explained how the current statute of limitations for sexual assault protects criminals from justice, and noted that those who are not brought to justice continue to offend. Ms. Simmons explained why victims of sexual assault are often unwilling to come forward about the crimes, and discussed the message sent by extending the statute of limitations for sexual assault. Ms. Simmons explained that evidence of sexual assault may come to light years later. Ms. Simmons responded to questions regarding sexual assault as a pattern.



06:02 PM --
Ms. Jean McAllister, representing the University of Denver, testified in support of the bill. Ms. McAllister discussed her experiences in advocating for and supporting sexual assault victims, explaining that some victims are reticent to come forward. She discussed the low rate of prosecution of sexual assault cases.



06:06 PM --
Ms. Anita Berg, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Berg discussed her work with victims of sexual assault, and explained that some victims are unable to come forward in a timely manner. She discussed the merits of extending the statute of limitations for sexual assault, and societal costs associated with these crimes.





06:11 PM



Representative Fields provided closing remarks in support of HB 16-1260.

BILL: HB16-1260
TIME: 06:11:38 PM
MOVED: Court
MOTION: Refer House Bill 16-1260 to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a vote of 11-0.
SECONDED: Lawrence
VOTE
Carver
Yes
Court
Yes
Dore
Yes
Foote
Yes
Lawrence
Yes
Lundeen
Yes
Melton
Yes
Salazar
Yes
Willett
Yes
Lee
Yes
Kagan
Yes
Final YES: 11 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS







06:18 PM



The committee adjourned.


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