Should the U.S. get rid of statutes of limitations for sexual assault? | The Tylt

Should the U.S. get rid of statutes of limitations for sexual assault?

With the recent reports of widespread child abuse in both the U.S. Gymnastics community and the Catholic Church, some states are revisiting their statutes of limitations on child abuse and sexual assault. Statute of limitation laws prevent victims from filing criminal and civil charges after a specified period of time. Victims' rights activists argue it sometimes takes people decades to feel comfortable reporting assaults, frequently long after the window has passed. Proponents of the laws worry that after too much time accused people cannot properly defend themselves.  What do you think?

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RAINN—Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network—argues on their website that the proliferation of hard evidence in rape cases, as well as new understanding of trauma, is creating a need to reevaluate some statutes of limitation.

In recent years, evidence that does not erode over time is often available, such as DNA, audio or video recordings, emails, texts, and other digital communication. These newer forms of evidence play an important role in investigating and prosecuting crimes of sexual violence. Society also has come to understand more about the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of sexual violence and the reasons why a victim may not immediately report the crime. As understanding of these crimes and their effect have evolved, so have states’ laws.
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Proponents of the laws argue it is difficult to prosecute these kinds of crimes after a period of time, due to the fallibility of evidence. Per PBS:

Statutes of limitations are laws designed to protect a person from being prosecuted for a crime after physical evidence has deteriorated, or become less reliable, over time. These time limits vary from crime to crime, and between states.
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Proponents also say that prosecuting decades old cases would unfairly penalize people who were not involved in the crimes. Per WHYY:

Groups such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference have opposed retroactive lawsuits, worrying that they would hurt the church financially and penalize current parishioners for the sins of past clergy.
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Lawyers in Pennsylvania are currently working to change that state's statutes of limitation on reporting and prosecuting sexual assault. The state, the latest to be wracked by reports of widespread child abuse perpetrated by clergy in the Catholic Church, "prohibits people from filing civil claims related to childhood abuse after they turn 30 and criminal claims after 50." New York state's current laws are even stricter, preventing victims of child abuse from filing charges against their abusers after they turn 23. 

Most states, however, have abolished statutes of limitations governing child abuse and states like Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Minnesota are waving expired rights and allowing victims to file civil suits.

In the instance of Pennsylvania, it took decades for all information about the abuse to come to light. Per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The victim and his family did not know until the grand jury report was released that Hoehl had admitted to having sex with several high school students and had been determined to be a pedophile in 1986, Perer said.
If these leaders had not concealed that information, the victim would have filed the lawsuit within the statute of limitations, Perer said."He thought he was alone,” Perer said. “His parents were so close to the priest. This would have given him the ammunition he needed.”
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Politics
Should the U.S. get rid of statutes of limitations for sexual assault?
#ProtectionsForVictims
A festive crown for the winner
#TooMuchTimePassed