PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- On Monday, Sen. Victoria Steele revealed being raped by her grandfather as a child.

Steele, a Democrat from Tucson, recounted the attacks during an emotional speech on the Senate floor.

[WATCH: Arizona senator reveals she's a sexual abuse survivor]

"Let’s just say, my very first memory in life was being raped by a relative," Steele said. "By my grandfather."

Steele added that the few memories for her childhood aren't the best.

"I don't have very many memories from my childhood," she said. "Those that I do have are not good. You don’t want to know them."

Her comments came as another lawmaker made a dramatic stand for victims of sexual assault.

Paul Boyer is ramping up the pressure on fellow Republicans to pass his bill that gives young victims more time to sue in civil court.

[WATCH: Boyers mic shut off at Capitol after opposing sex offender registry bill]

Senate Bill 1255 allows those victims seven years to bring a civil case against their abuser after they publicly disclose the crime as an adult.

Current state law bars them from civil action after they turn 20 years old.

Republican leaders, so far, have blocked the bill.

Last month, the House Appropriations Committee refused to vote on the bill.

And Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, a Republican from Gilbert, declined to hear the bill in his judiciary committee.

Although Boyer’s bill was not on the agenda, today, the Phoenix Republican forced the issue.

After he used every opportunity to bring the topic up, leading Senate President Karen Fann eventually shut off his microphone.

Then, in a highly unusual moment, Boyer called for the Senate to overrule Fann and let him speak.

Boyer rescinded the motion as it looked like he headed toward defeat.

It is unclear what Fann plans to do next, as it appears a majority of the Senate would approve the bill if it is ever voted on.

Boyer has said he will not vote for any budget until the measure on his bill is passed.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.




Recommended for you

(12) comments

Rico Rush

this bill should pass, however burden of proof will become an issue because having to actual prove that you were sexually abused at an early age can be very difficult. We also have seen a spike of false acquisitions which can defame someone in the process. I am all for getting justice for the victim, but opening up cases that are 10+ years old simply becomes a case of testimony vs testimony.


Rico that is for sure. As it is now someone does not have to have done a thing wrong to lose his career, his dignity, and his family with a false accusation. It is set up so that any female just make a statement and boom the accused is guilty in the eyes of the public.


Why would 'they' not want this bill to pass? It's a good bill. It was surprising to read Fann shut off the mic, she's a good legislator. It probably had to do with Boyer being out of turn and not to do with the content of the bill. Apparently there are enough votes on both sides of the aisle to easily pass it. Who is blocking it from getting a vote? If there's no legitimate good reason to block the legislation then anyone blocking the vote needs to be voted out of the legislature. There's already another legislator I'm working on getting replaced in the next election...or sooner if the person messes up to a point of clear vulnerability. Maybe this will be a targeted focus too if it doesn't get to the floor for a vote.


I support this bill but the people who oppose have a good point when they say that someone could make a false accusation 50 years down the road and drag an innocent person through a civil case. If this bill passes its almost certain that scenario will happen but I think its worth the trade-off of young victims being able to see justice.

It would be better just to raise the age from 20-years old to 30 or 40. Twenty is way to young and it protects perpetrators.


It does indeed seem that claims of abuse are becoming more common. Is it because in the wake of so many allegations (and convictions) against clergy, celebrities and politicians, it's becoming less stigmatizing to reveal these allegations? Do victims now think they're more likely to be taken seriously? Most experts in law enforcement, counseling, and social sciences who study this field believe that cases, particularly those with child victims, are under-reported. Here are some numbers:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report Child Maltreatment 2010 found that 9.2% of victimized children were sexually assaulted (page 24).

Studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:

1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.


Makes one wonder why some republican lawmakers don’t even want to hear this bill. Could it be that it gives the victim too much time to gather up the courage/strength to come forward and spill someone’s little secrets


Time to get Eddie Farnsworth out of office. Look at all the things he has his hand in as far as the charter schools, and you will see just how dirty he is.


youngjaps - There's nothing wrong with being in the Charter School business. Being involved in multiple businesses does mean a person is "dirty".


*doesn't mean a person is "dirty".


it sure is popular to claim abuse these days.


It seems that way to me too, MyOwnMind.


If the person never talks to a doctor about the assault, under this bill they have an infinite time to sue.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.