Justice for victims, not continuing protection for rapists

legal court

Crime Victims United

Rape survivors press for 20-year statute of limitations in Oregon

When:   Tuesday, May 26, 10:30 a.m.

Where:  Sentinel Hotel, Card Room, 614 S.W. Eleventh Avenue, Portland, OR 97205

What:    Press conference re: House Bill 2317 and Oregon’s Statute of Limitations (SoL) for First Degree Rape, Sodomy, and Unlawful Penetration

On Wednesday, May 27, 8:30 AM, the State Senate Judiciary Committee will hear public testimony on House Bill 2317 in Hearing Room 343 at the State Capitol in Salem.  House Bill 2317 was amended from the original language of a 20-year SoL to 12 years, at the demand of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Floyd Prozanski, who threatened to refuse to hear the bill when it arrived in his Committee.  Oregon currently has one of the shortest SoLs in the United State for first degree sex crimes:  only six years.

State Senator Kim Thatcher, member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has requested an amendment for a 20-year SoL. Senator Prozanski is blocking attempts to amend the bill.

At the press conference on May 26, three rape survivors will tell their individual stories. The rape survivors and Meg Garvin, J.D., from the National Crime Victims Law Institute will discuss why 20 years is better for Oregon. Speakers also will discuss what current Statute of Limitations law is in other states, and recent trends in other state legislatures concerning SoL law.

  • Annie E. Clark was raped as an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  She and Andrea Pino filed Title IX and Clery Act complaints to the U.S. Department of Education against their alma mater.  Clark is featured in the acclaimed documentary about campus rape, The Hunting Ground, and is cofounder of End Rape on Campus.  Clark also has worked on federal legislation.
  • Brittany “Bryn” Garrett is a 30–year old Portland resident who spent the first 12 years of her life in a religious community led by Michael Sperou, a charismatic manipulator who sexually abused Bryn and other girls in the community for years.  Although Bryn and six other girls reported their abuse to law enforcement in 1997, not until 2013 was Sperou finally prosecuted – after the criminal statute of limitations had run out for Sperou’s crimes against six of the seven girls.  Last month, Sperou was convicted by a jury of three child sexual abuse felonies against one of his seven known victims.  He never will be prosecuted for his crimes against Bryn and the other complainants.
  • Danielle Tudor is one of nine reported victims of Portland’s notorious Jogger Rapist, Richard Troy Gillmore.  By the time Gillmore was apprehended, Oregon’s statute of limitations meant that he could be prosecuted for only one rape – not Tudor’s or seven others’. Since coming forward publicly in 2008, Tudor had worked on behalf of other victims and their rights. She knows firsthand that a rapist can dodge arrest and eventually walk free under a shorter statute of limitations.
  • Meg Garvin, MA, JD, is a Clinical Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, and the Executive Director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI), a national nonprofit educational and advocacy founded in 2000.  NCVLI’s mission is to actively promote balance and fairness in the justice system through crime victim-centered legal advocacy, education, and resource sharing. NCVLI accomplishes its mission through training and technical assistance on victims’ rights, amicus curiae participation in state, federal and military courts; and promotion of the National Alliance of Victims’ Rights Attorneys & Advocates.