Member's Press Release

Release Date: 05/04/2017
Contact: Delegate Howell, 304-340-3192,

Gary Howell

Delegate Gary Howell Praises Passage of Bill to Help Victims of Certain Assaults

Charleston, W.Va. - Delegate Gary Howell is praising the passage of a bill he said will be important for future victims of physician-related assaults.

Howell said he hopes the bill with help others who experience abuse gain closure in a more timely manner.

House Bill 2631 relates to time standards for disposition of complaint proceedings, and essentially means medical examiners can no longer use delay tactics to get out of punishment for wrongdoing, Howell said.

Melissa St. Clair has firsthand experience in having to wait out an abuser’s punishment. St. Clair said someone in a position of authority used delay tactics and attorneys to hide behind something they did to her.

“I want to make sure other victims don’t have to go through this,” she said.

Howell said the bill would include disciplinary actions as serious as sexual assaults, to compliment a bill passed last year making it a felony for medical examiners to have sexual contact by means of therapeutic deception.

Howell praised St. Clair for her efforts in passing the legislation.

“She fought hard for this bill so other victims don’t have to see their abuser go unpunished,” he said.

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