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Why is there a statute of limitations on child abuse crimes?

 
 
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2011 11:09 am
As I was learning of the sexual abuse of children recently, I wondered why the Statute of Limitations protected the abusers from arrest? This has to be changed for unlimited time similar to murder.

Anyone who knows such child abuse information is rarely reported by the children out of fear of the abuser, public embarrassment and fear of not being believed. You can see this in connection with the Catholic Church child sex abusers when it took many years for this abuse to be revealed.

Everyone should contact their congress people to demand that the time limits of the Statute of Limitations in cases of child abuse must be ended. Please help me to cause this change.

BBB
 
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2011 11:36 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
There's a statute of limitations on child abuse for the same reasons there are SoLs for other crimes: memories fade, evidence is lost, witnesses die or become unavailable, and there's a public benefit in having finality in most criminal cases. All states allow minor victims of abuse to press charges against their alleged abusers for a certain number of years after they reach majority, regardless of when the alleged crimes took place, so this is not an instance where children are being deprived of their legal rights by the running of the statute of limitations.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2011 11:43 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
I too have wondered about the time limit.

Considering many victims of abuse are too terrified or ashamed to report at the time, and often cannot bring themselves to do so until years later, we end up with many abusers that are allowed to run free. It's not just the Catholic Church that sits on the information, as we saw recently with Penn State/Sandusky and now with Syracuse and Bernie Fine. Even as the cases unfold, we learn people knew and did nothing. They all rest in the comfort of knowing that after a stretch of time has passed, they will be legally untouchable. All they need do is wave threats for a disgustingly short period of time. The time limit is disgustingly short.

The ability to bring charges against a sex abuser, should never have a cut off time. It should be on the same level as that of murderer and have no statute of limitations. After all, when looked at, isn't sexually abusing a child a form of murder? Perhaps not the physical being; but, they are permanently changed psychologically, their innocence has been killed.
contrex
 
  3  
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2011 01:01 pm
I guess this is one of threads that just supposes everyone is American - there is no "Statute of limitations" in English or Scottish law, nor in most countries whose laws are based on it. Probably not in many other countries. Especially not for child abuse crimes. People have been (righty IMHO) convicted and inprisoned for crimes 40 years old and older.
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2011 02:28 pm
@contrex,
And yet the UK has limitations on civil causes of action, for the reasons that I've already mentioned. I'm not sure why fading memories or unavailability of witnesses are sufficient cause to bar stale civil claims but not a barrier to bringing stale criminal charges.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2011 03:25 pm
@Sturgis,
Sturgis wrote:
I too have wondered about the time limit.

Considering many victims of abuse are too terrified or ashamed to report at the time, and often cannot bring themselves to do so until years later, we end up with many abusers that are allowed to run free. It's not just the Catholic Church that sits on the information, as we saw recently with Penn State/Sandusky and now with Syracuse and Bernie Fine. Even as the cases unfold, we learn people knew and did nothing. They all rest in the comfort of knowing that after a stretch of time has passed, they will be legally untouchable. All they need do is wave threats for a disgustingly short period of time. The time limit is disgustingly short.

The ability to bring charges against a sex abuser, should never have a cut off time. It should be on the same level as that of murderer and have no statute of limitations. After all, when looked at, isn't sexually abusing a child a form of murder?
Obviously, the victim of murder is a lot worse off
than a victim of sexual abuse.
It is NOT "a form of murder".



Sturgis wrote:
Perhaps not the physical being; but, they are permanently changed psychologically,
I 'm reminded of an incident
when I was around 9 or 1O, give or take:
I had an uncle, who was sort of considered the head of the family.
We were well off, but he was wealthier than we were.
He was pleasant sometimes, but he coud gruff & grouchy, unexpectedly insolent.
I did not like that; we ofen argued.

Anyway, there came a time that he arranged things
such that I foresaw that I had been made a target of future
minor sexual molestation in his plans. Figuratively speaking:
I saw him coming. I outmanuvered him; it was ez.

I coud see that he was frustrated and I left him in an awkward position.
I got a kick out of that! Minor vengeance.





Sturgis wrote:
their innocence has been killed.
What a thing to SAY!!
Of WHAT are the victims guilty????????

Are victims of robbery equally guilty????





David
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2011 03:49 pm
@contrex,
As far as I know, most countries whose laws are based on "Roman Law" have got something like a "statute of limitations" ("longi temporis praescriptio" in Latin).

While that's (mainly) used in civil cases, in criminal law (as well as in administrative law) this differs and is regulated by the law itself.


Example, the German criminal code, here §78 and =ttp://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/StGB.htm#79][b]§79[/b].

There are no 'statutes of limitation' with murder, and murder and crimes [genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes] related to the "international criminal code" (that's a German law bringing the German criminal law into accordance with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court).

The "statue of limitations" on child abuse differs between 5 (very rarely) and 20 years (the latter most common), according to the crime.


Otherwise, I refer to what joe wrote above.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  3  
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2011 03:49 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:

Sturgis wrote:
their innocence has been killed.
What a thing to SAY!!
Of WHAT are the victims guilty????????

Are victims of robbery equally guilty????




Any good dictionary will tell you about the other meaning of "innocence" - unworldliness, naivety, simplicity, lack of guile or corruption, purity.

OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2011 06:53 pm
@contrex,


Sturgis wrote:
their innocence has been killed.
OmSigDAVID wrote:
What a thing to SAY!!
Of WHAT are the victims guilty????????

Are victims of robbery equally guilty????


contrex wrote:
Any good dictionary will tell you about the other meaning of "innocence" - unworldliness, naivety,
Those conditions describe dangerous vulnerability. That is not desirable.
Their friends (or earlier: their parents) shoud give them
the necessary information to protect themselves.



contrex wrote:
simplicity, lack of guile or corruption, purity.
I am unwilling to look upon any human being
as being corrupt nor lacking in "purity" because of sexual abuse (rape or sodomy).
I have read of husbands (not in America) abandoning wives
who have been raped, sometimes after capture by alien armies in war.
In my opinion, that is dishonorable.

Anyway, if I came to know that any person
of either gender and any age had been the victim
of rape or of sodomy, I 'd accord her or him the same respect,
and say so openly. ( I have done so in circumstances that were
in some respects similar.) I woud not and will not deem
any such person, of any age to be CORRUPT nor less pure
because of sexual experiences; (nor less INNOCENT, either)





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2011 11:01 pm
Quote:
Why is there a statute of limitations on child abuse crimes?
Without that,
an infinity of blackmail potential woud be open, endlessly
against anyone who had enuf $$ to make chasing it worthwhile.

Anyone coud extort someone older than he is, threatening to allege
that 25 or 3O years b4, "when I was about 8 or 10 years old
defendant came over and molested me."

How coud anyone prepare an alibi for the alleged offense?
0 Replies
 
abusesurvivor1980
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Apr, 2013 10:18 pm
@joefromchicago,
I am 32 years old and was sexually abused by my father until I was 6 years old and came forward with the information. My father went to trial and was set free. When I was 14, I ceased visitation from my biological father. Today, I found out my 21 year old brother, his only son, also suffered from sexual abuse by my father. If my sol has run out, could it be reinstated if a new case of abuse arises?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Apr, 2013 10:55 pm
@abusesurvivor1980,
According to what joefromchicago wrote, your 21 year old brother's abuse could probably still be prosecuted.

Your 21 year old brother is his only son? This is a little confusing.
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Wed 17 Apr, 2013 06:26 am
@abusesurvivor1980,
abusesurvivor1980 wrote:

I am 32 years old and was sexually abused by my father until I was 6 years old and came forward with the information. My father went to trial and was set free. When I was 14, I ceased visitation from my biological father. Today, I found out my 21 year old brother, his only son, also suffered from sexual abuse by my father. If my sol has run out, could it be reinstated if a new case of abuse arises?

I would have no way of knowing. You need to consult an attorney.
0 Replies
 
aryary
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Apr, 2013 04:04 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Of course I agree with you such a person should be penalized with the toughest penalties such as imprisonment for life or death penalties and before that the most important thing the state have to do is to bring a very good law so that the accused could not escape through legal loop holes and the state must enforce it.
0 Replies
 
abusesurvivor1980
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Apr, 2013 09:01 pm
@roger,
How is it confusing that my brother was my father's only son?
AndersondLawyer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Apr, 2013 12:41 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
This is a grave issue and the crime committed is as deadly as murder and there should be laws to punish the accused in such a way that no body could dare to commit it again and the law should be rigid so that the accused could not escape through legal loop holes.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Apr, 2013 01:39 am
@abusesurvivor1980,
I apologize. I assumed you were a male, and I was unjustified in that assumption.

Again, I'm sorry for that post.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2013 09:00 am
@AndersondLawyer,
AndersondLawyer wrote:

This is a grave issue and the crime committed is as deadly as murder
and there should be laws to punish the accused in such a way that
no body could dare to commit it again and the law should be rigid
so that the accused could not escape through legal loop holes.
I must dissent from your point of vu, Counsellor.
If I had to choose whether to be either a victim of sexual abuse
(at ANY age) or of MURDER, I 'd have to prefer the sexual abuse.
If I survived, then I coud avenge myself upon the criminal.

Your post fails to take cognizance of the vast (infinite?) world
of extortion that u 'd create. Any of your nabors who is younger
than u r can claim that 40 or 50 years ago u sexually abused her
or him and demand very substantial recompense,
in default whereof a visit to the police is in her or his future.
She (or he) coud allege, as part of this extortion, that
the purported crime was worse than murder
and the applicable law (i.e., YOUR law) is so rigid
that an accused cannot escape.

She or he coud allege multiple instances of sexual abuse
spanning numerous years. If that we're alleged against U,
coud u prove where u were NOT, over those years?
The extortionist coud point out the financial magnitude
of your lawyer's fees alone (even if u win) and offer u
a "sweet deal" demanding only half of your worldly possessions.
The law that u advocate woud be a better weapon
than a gun, for your extortionist.





David
AndersondLawyer
 
  0  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 05:07 am
@OmSigDAVID,
It,s very difficult to redraws this
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 11:14 am
@AndersondLawyer,
How 'd u handle it, Counsellor,
if a younger acquaintance, or younger relative,
alleged of u hundreds of instances of sexual abuse
40 or 50 years ago, spanning several years ??

Assuming that u r innocent,
HOW can u establish an alibi
for many crimes to which no dates have been attributed ??

If u have been financially successful in your practice,
then u present extortionists with a tempting target.
Woud u negotiate a settlement with the extortionist ?

Woud u negotiate a plea bargain with the district attorney ?

Tell us
 

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