Manhattan mayor Usha Reddi used a personal story while providing testimony Tuesday on a Kansas House bill that aims to extend the time for a person to come forward if they were sexually abused as child.
Reddi, who was sexually abused by her father, Venkata Rao Yeleti, from ages 10-16, discussed what happened to her as a child to the Committee on Judiciary at the Kansas Statehouse.
“I wanted to give what happened to me in my childhood a purpose,” Reddi told The Mercury on Wednesday morning.
The bill, sponsored by 10 Democrats and 4 Republicans, applies to civil suits. It removes the statute of limitations for someone coming forward with child sexual abuse allegations.
The state doesn’t have a statute of limitations on criminal cases involving sexual abuse.
Reddi was abused as a child in Virginia and Ohio. As an adult, she wasn’t allowed to press charges in Ohio due to the statute of limitations in the state. However, she was able to press charges in Virginia.
Reddi’s father, 76, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year in jail and five years of supervised probation in Texas, where he lives.
Reddi publicly revealed what happened to her last summer.
“It took me 40 years to do something about it,” Reddi said.
She said it is important for Kansas to remove the time limit to create pathways for people to come forward.
“They’re just removing a barrier,” she said.
Reddi said she feels optimistic about the bill. Although she was nervous, she said she felt her testimony went great.
“I felt it went well and hopefully we hear back from the committee that they will move forward,” she said.