May 2019 Bar Bulletin
By Dean Williams
The Sexual Assault Protection Order (SAPO) Act, RCW chapter 7.90, has not become the remedy for victims of sexual assault that its proponents hoped, given the Washington Supreme Court’s ruling in Roake v. Delman, decided in January 2018.1
The issue in Roake was whether the Act encompasses a claim that experiencing a sexual assault is itself a reasonable basis for ongoing fear. The Court’s plurality opinion concluded that it does not, with a two-vote concurrence, a three-vote dissent, and a separate concurring dissent, bringing the total vote for the proposition above to 6–3 against.2
Justice Charles W. Johnson’s lead opinion held that the...