Why is Senator Floyd Prozanski protecting rapists?

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

by NW Spotlight

Rape victim working to change Oregon statute of limitations for rapists

Danielle Tudor was only 17 when she was beaten and raped by Portland’s “jogger rapist,” Richard Gilmore. Last week KOIN reported “Seven years later, Gillmore was captured by police. But because the six year statute of limitations had run out, Tudor couldn’t press charges against him.” [Note: Although KOIN says six years, the statute of limitations at the time was actually three years – it was changed to six years later] According to an article from last summer, “Police estimate that this brutal man may have been responsible for as many as 100 rapes around the city.”

In the current Oregon legislative session, Danielle Tudor has been working to change that statute of limitations for rapists. KOIN reported back in March “The six years statute of limitations for rape in Oregon is one of the shortest time limits for prosecution in the country. Brenda Tracy and Danielle Tudor want that changed. The women are working with lawmakers to change Oregon’s 6-year statute of limitations to 20 years.” Danielle told KOIN “Over half of the states in the country don’t have any statute of limitations.”

In a KVAL interview this week on House Bill 2317, Tudor argued that “the statute of limitations needs to be raised to 20 years – or have the limit on prosecution removed all together.”

Sen. Floyd Prozanski fights for rapists – reduces statute of limitations

KVAL reports “The proposal brought to the legislature started with 20, Tudor said. At Eugene state Sen. Floyd Prozanski’s recommendation, House Bill 2317 was scaled back to a 12 year statute of limitations from 20 years.”

Tudor said to KVAL “I think the question needs to be asked, why is Senator Prozanski protecting rapists?”

Not the first time Sen. Prozanski has sided with criminals over victims

Last month Sen. Prozanski’s Democratic colleague Sen. Betsy Johnson wrote “state Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, tried unsuccessfully in the 2013 legislative session to include weaker sentencing guidelines for assault, robbery and sexual abuse in House Bill 3194. He wanted the bill to also expand expungement, making it easier for convicted felons to wipe clean their criminal records.”

In the 2009 Legislature, Sen. Prozanski was one of the architects of HB 3508 – the early release of prisoners. When it passed, this bill led to untold re-suffering by victims and the families of victims who had to relive their nightmares when they faced returning to courtrooms for the early release hearings. Suffering like Janyce Iturra, mother of murder victim Aaron Iturra. Janyce was notified that Mary Thompson, the mastermind of her son’s murder, was scheduled to receive an early release hearing. Janyce replied “I have been re-victimized, this time not by Mary Thompson, but by the Oregon Legislature.”

Prozanski’s support of HB 3508 caused him to become a “lightning rod for criticism of the law by other crime victims.”

Prozanski as a “prosecutor”

Responding to rape victim Danielle Tudor’s question “why is Senator Prozanski protecting rapists?” Sen. Prozanski’s defense was “As a sitting prosecutor, I will take some offense to that.”

It’s a defense he’s used before.

When defending his support of HB 3508 (early release of prisoners) in the Eugene Register-Guard, Sen. Prozanski made sure he emphasized that he was “a professional prosecutor” and “Florence city prosecutor.”

Floyd Prozanski is a part-time, contract prosecutor for the Municipal Court in Florence, Oregon – a coastal town in Lane County with a population around 8,500. For a sense of what takes place in municipal court, nearby Eugene Municipal Court “handled 14,162 traffic violations, 1,195 misdemeanor-level traffic crimes, 10,719 City ordinance violations/misdemeanors, and 44,615 parking citations.” in fiscal year 2013 (Eugene has a population of about 156,000).

Oregon district attorneys have been critical of Prozanski defining himself as a “prosecutor” when defending legislation that supports criminals over victims.

Commenting in The Oregonian last week, fellow Democrat and Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis wrote “Perhaps because Sen. Prozanski’s prosecutorial career has involved primarily traffic infractions, he doesn’t understand how effective prison can be in preventing gun violence.”

In 2010, Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris said “personally, I find it insulting when Sen. Prozanski, who at best prosecuted low-level felonies years ago in the Lane County District Attorney’s Office and who has subsequently prosecuted nothing but misdemeanors and traffic tickets, defends SB 3508 by telling voters he is a prosecutor.”

Despite Sen. Prozanski’s sister’s murder, “Prozanski is a felon’s best friend”

What makes Sen. Prozanski’s lack of sympathy for victims all the more difficult to understand is the 1973 murder of his sister Vicki.

Speaking to this contradiction, Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis recently wrote “Had his sister’s killer done serious time for robbery, he wouldn’t have been out and able to kill her. As it is, Cruz not only killed Vicki. He was freed on a technicality and later convicted for drug dealing (heroin) and attempting to kill a police officer. Despite all of this, Prozanski is a felon’s best friend. He is one of the most outspoken critics of Measure 11, which sets minimum prison sentences for violent felons. Even better from a felon’s point of view, Prozanski wants to expand expungements so felons can conceal their criminal records.”