Bill Would Extend Statute of Limitations on Sex Abuse by 12 Years

The Associated Press, carried in MetroWest Daily News
July 28, 2006

BOSTON — Childhood victims of sexual abuse would have another 12 years to report the crimes under a bill passed yesterday in the Senate. The legislation would increase the statute of limitations to 27 years from its current 15, giving childhood victims until they are 43 years old to report sexual crimes. Currently, the law gives victims 15 years to report a sex-abuse crime after the victim's 16th birthday.

Supporters say the legislation is a much needed step toward better protecting children from sex offenders; though many advocates for victims of child sexual abuse were pushing for throwing out the time limit altogether.

Opponents, however, argue that limitations minimize the risk of people being wrongly convicted many years later, when evidence is scarce and memories not as sharp.

The House passed similar legislation Wednesday. Final action is due by both chambers before it can be sent to the governor.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.