I was listening to public radio this morning and discovered that in Oregon, once you have reached the age of thirty, you can no longer press charges against your abuser. The average age that anyone begins therapy is 35 and older. It then takes a little while to find the strength and fortitude to even confront them This is wrong. WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN OREGON…. This is barbaric!
3 thoughts on “What are the statue of limitations in your state for child sexual abuse?”
In MN, the criminal statute of limitations for sexual abuse victims who were minors when the abuse occurred is three years after the abuse was first reported to law enforcement. It’s somewhat convoluted to understand, but it can allow for a prosecution of an offender (whose victim was a minor) at any point in the victim’s life (as long as the indictment occurs within three years of the first report from the victim).
The criminal statute of limitations can not be retroactively applied, though, prior to what it was before its reform. A report can be taken by law enforcement, but no prosecution can take place unless other victims by the same offender come forward who do fall within the statute of limitations. In my case, the criminal statute of limitations that applied to me (before reform) was only three years from the last offense. This absurdly short time limit makes me realize that I never had a chance as a child, that criminal justice against my offender was something that could never be known for my life. But situations like mine were why the statute of limitations were changed. I’m grateful other victims younger than me, because of the changes to the law, will have at least some chance to know criminal justice in MN if they choose to pursue it.
On the civil side of the law in MN, victims of child sexual abuse have until only age 24 to sue their abusers in court for damages. New legislation in MN, however, called the Child Victims Act is attempting to address this very short time limit and make it fairer to victims (instead of being favorable to offenders, as currently is the case).
In Missouri the Time Limitiations for Prosecutions for Sexual Offenses Involving a Person Under Eighteen is “20 years after the victim reaches the age of 18 unless the prosecutions are for forcible rape, attempted forcible rape, forcible sodomy, kidnapping, or attempted forcible sodomy, in which case such prosecutions may commence at any time.” I wish I’d known this earlier although I doubt I would have actually prosecuted anyone. It would have been hard to prove and I don’t think I would have been in a good place emotionally to have someone deny to my face what they did to me.
I think for me the problem is that they take away the option. It’s important to have the choice. The law has the aility to say to the abuser… OK you get to go free, the time limit is up. When I was trying to get a llawyer in California (several years ago) it was 7 years. I was laughed at.