OLYMPIA, Wash. – Thieves who prey on senior citizens could face longer prison sentences in Washington under proposed legislation.
Amy LeCoq hopes her grandmother’s story will help get the bill passed.
“My grandmother suffers every single day,” said LeCoq, whose 87-year-old grandmother Mariana Cooper was bilked out of more than $200,000.
Janet Bauml, who had befriended Cooper, drained her savings and was sentenced to four years in prison.
LeCoq said Bauml could be released on good behavior after serving less than three years.
She wants lawmakers to create a new law: theft from a vulnerable adult.
LeCoq spoke to AARP members and lawmakers Tuesday about the need for a tougher law to protect seniors in the state.
State Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, and Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, have each sponsored bills in their respective chambers calling for the new crime.
Washington is one of 13 states that does not have a crime specifically protecting adults considered “vulnerable,” like seniors and the disabled.
LeCoq said her grandmother has only received about $11 in restitution from Bauml.
The new state law would not help LeCoq’s grandmother’s case, but she hopes her story will protect other seniors.