Marsy’s Law for Montana Releases Third Television Advertisement, “Ryan”

October 26, 2016
Chuck Denowh: 239-5952

Marsy’s Law for Montana releases third television advertisement, “Ryan”

(Helena, Mont.)—A new television spot for CI-116, Marsy’s Law for Montana, tells the story of Ryan VanLuchene, an eight-year-old boy kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered by a known sex offender in Libby in 1987.

The advertisement can be viewed here.
“When we lost Ryan we found ourselves thrust into a complicated and confusing criminal justice system,” said Derek VanLuchene, Ryan’s older brother. “Our family was suffering an incomprehensible loss and at the same time we were searching for answers, for basic information about what would happen in the case. The whole time we were terrified that somehow this monster would go free.”
Derek went on to become a police officer, serving in Conrad, Montana for 18 years, before founding the nonprofit organization Ryan United in honor of his brother. Ryan United is focused on helping families victimized by child abduction and sexual assault.

“I’ve seen this from both sides—as a victim and as a law enforcement officer—no one expects to be a victim of a crime but when you are you want a remedy; you want the justice system to work for you,” Derek said. “I’m supporting Marsy’s Law because it will provide victims rights that ensure they are taken care of by that system.”

Recent polling shows a strong majority of Montana voters support Marsy’s Law. The poll, conducted in October, had 72% of voters saying they would vote for CI-116 and only 9% against.

Marsy’s Law for Montana is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Ann Nicholas. Marsy was a beautiful, vibrant University of California Santa Barbara student who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only a week after Marsy was murdered, her mother Marcella and her brother Nick walked into a grocery store after visiting her daughter’s grave and were confronted by the accused murderer. They had no idea that he had been released on bail.