November 03, 2005

Delonga's Case: Statute Of Limitations


When a case like Judy Delonga's goes in front of the courts, the first thing a judge may look at is the statute of limitations. How long after the incident is the victim coming forward?

Federal law states that a child who is sexually abused has until their death to make a claim.

But South Dakota state law gives a victim of sexual abuse just 3 years to come forward from the time they were abused or from the time they recall the seriousness of the abuse. DeLonga's lawyer says that law needs to change.

Did Judy DeLonga's forty years of silence help Father Bruce MacArthur stay a free man?

According to South Dakota's statute of limitations...Yes.

Delonga's attorney Stephanie Pochop said, "It limits the rights of victims who often times like Judy suffer in silence for decades from being able to come forward and bring their claims in civil suits because of the way the statutes are drafted in South Dakota."

Pochop says her client's case should be used as an example to get the law changed.

"I think this is a tool we can use to have a voice with our legislature to take some recognition of that right now in the state of SD we have statutes of limitations which prevent admitted pedophile like the serial pedophile that abused Judy from being in prison and prosecuted criminally," said Pochup.

Posted by kshaw at November 3, 2005 01:31 PM