March 27, 2006

OUR VIEW: Lift time limits on sex abuse cases

MASSACHUSETTS
The Patriot Ledger

By The Patriot Ledger

The hurdles confronting victims of sex abuse crimes who want to bring their perpetrators to justice are many: financial, emotional, psychological, legal.

One of the biggest barriers is the statute of limitations, the time limit on when a person can be charged with rape or other abuse crimes, including incest, using children for pornography, indecent assault on a retarded person. Itís a long list.

As was demonstrated repeatedly in recent sex abuse cases involving Catholic priests, it can take decades for a person to acknowledge what happened to them as a child or adolescent and then try to have the perpetrator answer for the crime.

A set of bills before the Legislature would eliminate the statute of limitations for bringing either a criminal or civil case against a person accused of rape or other, specific sex abuse crimes. The current statute of limitations is 15 years for rape, 10 years for incest, and six years for indecent assault and other sex abuse crimes.

Posted by kshaw at March 27, 2006 04:36 PM