Star-Advertiser: ‘Changes to Sex Assault Bill Set New Limits on Victims’ Recourse

By Allison Schaefers
Apr 01, 2014
Star-Advertiser

A state Senate committee put limits on a controversial bill Friday that seeks to provide victims of sexual assault more time to press charges or file a lawsuit.

House Bill 2034, which was introduced by Rep. Mele Carroll (D, Lanai-Molo­kai-Paia-Hana), sought to remove both the criminal and civil statutes of limitation on first- and second-degree sexual assault and the continuous sexual assault against minors under 14.

The measure was intended to address the April 24 sunsetting of a state law that had created a two-year window for old abuse claims. The law, signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in 2012, exempted the state and also extended the statute of limitations on lawsuits to eight years from the victim’s 18th birthday or three years from the time the victim discovers his or her psychological injuries are related to past abuse. State law had previously set the statute of limitations at two years under both scenarios.

Carroll’s bill attempted to leave the window open permanently for what state lawmakers initially intended as a one-time opportunity to help victims in cases where the statue of limitations had expired.

While the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor kept Carroll’s bill moving, it imposed the following limits:

  • The current two-year window to file civil claims for decades-old misconduct cases would be extended by five more years.
  • For civil claims against a legal entity who employed or had some degree of control over the perpetrator, the legal standard for reviewing liability will be changed from “gross negligence” to “negligence.”
  • For criminal claims arising from first- or second-degree sexual assaults against a minor, or the continuous sexual assault of a minor under 14, the five-year statute of limitations would begin to run when the claimant turns 25.

Sen. Maile Shi­ma­bu­kuro (D, Kalaeloa-Wai­anae-Makaha) said the changes were made to improve the odds of the bill becoming law. “This is very important legislation to the (Senate) Women’s Caucus,” she said. “I was especially moved by the two victims who came forward to testify.”

Shimabukuro said the caucus heard testimony from a female who said she had been raped while in jail for an unpaid parking ticket and was unable to seek justice because the statute of limitations had expired before she came to terms with the crime.

“We also heard a very moving story from a man who had been repeatedly abused by a relative,” she said.

Shimabukuro said the Senate changes were made to better protect the rights of victims while protecting due process.

“We received strong opposition to this bill from defense lawyers, the attorney general’s office and the Catho­lic Church,” she said. “We were concerned if it were passed as written that it would get vetoed.”

She said opponents mostly are concerned that too broad of a statute of limitations would make it difficult to defend against claims, particularly if the perpetrator has died.

A similar measure, Senate Bill 2687, is also moving through the Legislature. That bill, which the House deferred for decision-making until Tuesday, seeks to expand the window to allow victims to bring civil claims for child sexual abuse.

Click here to read the article on the Star-Advertiser site.

Defend Waianae Photos from 1/30/14 Meeting

Defend Waianae held another well-attended event at Waianae Intermediate on 1/30/14.  The group is pushing for an expanded health care facility at the school to help treat students so they can avoid missing school due to illness.  They have also promoted an anti-bullying policy which encourages student bystanders to come to the aid of bullying victims.

Click images to enlarge.

Click images to enlarge.

“Defend Waianae is doing an excellent job of coming up with solutions to truancy and excess absenteeism at our schools,” said Sen. Shimabukuro, who attended the event.

defend02A

Click here for more information about Defend Waianae.

defend03A

defend04A

defend05A

Kamaile Academy Visit to the Hawaii State Capitol

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Sen. Shimabukuro at far right in the Senate Gallery with teachers Kendra Singletary and Jeff Majkowski, who accompanied the following students for the Capitol visit:

Joslynn Apaisa, Rexel Boter, Orinna Cook, Faith Duh, Paulina Esteban, Taz Freitas, Dayzha Garcia, Gerard Garcia, Abigail Kerfoot, Jen Mahuka, Fue Nichols, Phil Niederschmidt, Clariz Pecan, Jarrett Rosario, Joeziah Routte-Rivera, Queenie Tabag-Kamana, Lopaka Umiamaka & Sam Zandenburgen.

 

Puu Heleakala Community Playground Design Day (4/2/14) and Charity Bazaar (4/5/14)

Puu Heleakala
From: Curtis Tsuzaki
Date: Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 5:48 PM
Subject: Puu Heleakala Community Playground Design Day and Charity Bazaar

Update on the Puu Heleakala Community Playground! KaBOOM and Disney finalized our Agreement and Contracts (March 24) and confirmed a few important dates we wanted to share with you.

April 2, 2014

Our DESIGN DAY is scheduled on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at Puu Heleakala Recreation Center, 87-169 Helelua Street. Your help is needed to prepare for this exciting day!

  • 2:30 p.m. Blessing and Opening Protocol
  • 3:00 p.m. Site Walk by KaBOOM Project Manager, Courtney Sawyer
  • 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Keiki/Children’s Design Session (20-30 children
  • 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Adults’ Planning Meeting

We invite you to join us on this important day, so please mark your calendar! We will be potlucking that day, please let the Food Committee/Hospitality know what you will be bringing. An updated Committee List is also attached.

Design Day is where the fun really begins! This is the big kick-off to the playground project where the kids and parents/community have a chance to share what they would like to see on their new playground.

4-5 p.m. Keiki/Children Session – 20 children from the direct community must be present. Children will draw out their plans and ideas on what they would like to see on their new playground. This is a time to be creative and have fun! Children will need to be escorted to a separate location after this session so the adults can be fully engaged in the next session. We’re asking the Youth Engagement Committee (Debby, Raelean, Lima and Gabriel) to be prepared to organize an alternative activity for the children and identify other adults to assist in managing that activity.

5-7 p.m. Adult Session – at least 20 adults, community residents and/or parents/grandparents with half being non staff community members: Our community representatives will dive into serious discussion about what strengths and resources within the community can be leveraged as part of the playground project. Another goal of this meeting is to finalize our Planning Committee, so attendees should be interested in being part of the entire process. At the end of the session, attendees will help choose actual play equipment and site enhancement projects (creating a “wish list”), as well as decide upon the overall layout of the new play space.

Following our Design Day, our KaBOOM Project Manager (Courtney Sawyer) will submit our wish list to Playworld Systems. Playworld’s designers will produce three custom designs and our committee will be responsible for picking the winning design!

Our Build Day is scheduled on Saturday, June 7, 2014 starting at 7 a.m. where over 200 volunteers, neighbors and community friends will join together and build the playground in ONE day! Please note – due to liability concerns, all volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.

Prep Days generally run 7am-2pm, 2 days prior and require 30 volunteers to take care of various preparatory jobs (tear down of the current play equipment and hauling away, unloading playground equipment/containers, cutting lumber for various projects, priming ground, prepping the new play site, setting up, etc) will be Thursday/Friday, June 5 and 6.

Committee members are asked to review your KaBOOM Committee roles and responsibilities and start meeting with your committee members to update and start organizing for these important dates. Recruit members and share information on Design and Build Day with your neighbors and friends! Our first Community Meeting held February 22nd was awesome!

April 5, 2014

1st Fundraising Event – Bazaar and Plant Sale scheduled Saturday, April 5th. Curtis and the Fundraising Committee have organized a Bazaar and Plant/White Elephant Sale at the Recreation Center to raise needed funds for the Playground. PHRA and Valley of Rainbows’ is committed to raise $8500 towards the playground equipment cost.

COMMUNITY BAZAAR AND PLANT SALE

DATE: Saturday, April 5, 2014

WHO: Puu Heleakala Recreational Association

TIME: 8am-3pm

WHERE” Puu Heleakala Rec. Center 87-169 Helelua Street, Nanakuli. Free street parking.

WHAT: Plants and Donated Items on Sale. Food Booths too!

WHY? To raise funds to build a new playground for our keiki!

CONTACT: April Kalama at 699.0020 or Curtis Tsuzaki at 291-3682

Seeking volunteers to assist with music and food vendors. Donations of plants and white elephant items also appreciated!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. See you 4/2!

Thank you so much for your time and support on this great community project!

Denice Keliikoa 286.7869 denicek@hawaii.rr.com
Merrie Aipoalani maipoalani@aol.com
Hanalei Aipoalani haipoalani@yahoo.com

================================
Denice K. Keli`ikoa, CFRE
President
Making Dreams Come True, Valley of Rainbows
PO Box 1009, Wai`anae, HI 96792
808.286.7869
denice@valleyofrainbows.org
http://www.valleyofrainbows.org
If you can dream it, you can do it! (Walt Disney)