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Group of Westport residents looking for bill passage to remove statute of limitations on rape, sexual assault

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Some from a Westport sexual abuse group are looking for the passage of a bill making its way through Beacon Hill.

Massachusetts State Senators Joan Lovely, Kay Khan, Steven Xiarhos, and Michael Moore have sponsored legislation to amend the statute of limitations regarding criminal prosecutions for the crimes of sexual assault and rape of a child.

According to Lovely, the bill was petitioned in the last session (2019-2020) where most bills went to study because congress was responding to COVID. Lovely refiled the bill for this session (2021-2022) and she and her fellow petitioners are awaiting action from the committee.

The bill states that “an indictment or complaint alleging an offense of indecent assault and battery, or an offense of rape, may be found and filed at any time after the commission of such offense, provided that the victim was under the age of 18 when the offense was committed.”

This is welcome news for some Westport residents.

Cases of alleged sexual abuse concerning Norman “Duke” Duquette of Westport were circulating on social media in the Fall River area in 2019, causing a Facebook group to be formed. At the time, one of the alleged victims stated that he had been contacted or knew of nine other possible victims.

The Westport Police had issued a response on those reports.

“The Westport Police confirm that they had received two reports from individuals that reported being abused in reference to a Facebook post concerning an individual who is now 77 years of age who was a retired firefighter, former bus driver, and former coach. Both reports were reported to have happened over 30 years ago. Special Victims Crimes (such as sexual abuse of children) are very case specific and depending on the time frame and type of abuse may be able to still be prosecuted.”

“Unfortunately, in the two reported cases to police these very specific abuse allegations were beyond the Statute of Limitations according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office. Westport Police informed the appropriate State Agencies who had an interest in the reports out of any possible safety concerns concerning children.”

“If anyone wishes to report any incident of abuse whether recent or past situations, please contact the Westport Police Detective Division at 774-264-5174.”

One of the alleged victims, who is in the Westport group, is concerned that the statute of limitations could be leading to more victims.

“I just saw this monster over the weekend at an event and I saw him around little children. I didn’t know what to do. Got overwhelmed and had to leave. So sad, thinking that there may be other children currently falling victim.”

It is believed that Duquette has never been charged in any of the abuse allegations.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. david

    December 30, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    The Drag Queen community certainly does not want such a law. Their grooming efforts on little children do take time.

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