Congress could change law following KOMO story

    U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. / AP photo

    SEATTLE-- Bipartisan action in the U.S. Congress could help bring closure for Pennie Saum, who has been fighting for decades to get justice following horrific crimes by her father.

    In November, the KOMO Investigators told Saum's story--how she and her brother were systematically sexually abused until their father was arrested and prosecuted.

    The siblings won a civil judgment against their father, but quickly found that federal law does not allow military pensions to be garnished, even in the case of sexual abuse.

    Saum's father was a member of the army and his source of income was the military retirement.

    "I think if you're being abused by someone in your own home, that's more violent and more calculated, more manipulative than someone grabbing you on the street," Saum said.

    Representative Suzan DelBene from Snohomish County learned about the gap in the law and asked legislative staff to prep language that would close the gap when the new session began.

    "It's just awful hearing Pennie's story. And I think everyone should be able to seek justice," DelBene said.

    The two women met for the first time Friday morning, sharing a warm embrace and the two holding hands in solidarity.

    "It's a little overwhelming right now. A little out of words," Saum said.

    The bill already has bipartisan support as well, with Rep. Jaime Herrerpa Beutler joining the sponsorship.

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