House votes to increase severity of 1st degree rape


Legislator: Rep. Brad Klippert
Run Time: 48 seconds
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The penalty for first degree rape may soon substantially increase.  Lawmakers in the House have agreed on reassigning the severity of the crime.  Ruth Johnson reports from Olympia.

Johnson:  The vote was unanimous.  If House lawmakers have their way, rape in the first degree would be ranked just below aggravated murder one, the most severe of all crimes in Washington state.

Brad Klippert, a lawmaker and longtime law enforcement officer took the bill to the House floor.

Klippert: “There's some things in a civilized society that are acceptable, and some things that are absolutely positively not acceptable and can not be tolerated.  And we have to do everything we can do to protect the citizens in our society from this happening to them.”

Johnson: Klippert says one way to do that is to keep a rapist behind bars.  If the Senate approves his measure, and the governor signs off, a rapist could, in some cases, get double the prison time that the law today allows, with a maximum of life in prison.

Ruth Johnson, Olympia.

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