California Starts Ending the Cycle
Some victims of child sexual assault (CSA) remain trapped in silence for years. Some take their traumatic sexual secret to the grave. In fact, 90% of victimized children never report the abuse to anyone — EVER.
In addition, by the time survivors are ready to come forward to seek justice, they are told the statute of limitations (SOLs) have long since expired. There is no way to prosecute and incarcerate their perpetrator, which is the only way to prevent countless other children from being molested.
Not to worry, a reckoning is on the rise. Over the past few years, in the wake for the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements, a significant number of adult victims of child sexual assault (CSA) have come forward to tell their stories.
As a result of this reckoning, California introduced Assembly Bill 218 in January. It proposes to expand the SOLs relevant to victims of CSA, from age 26 to age 40, plus extend the period of time for delayed discovery from three years to five years. After enactment, the measure would allow for a three-year window in which childhood victims, having now reached the age of adulthood, can file a lawsuit against their molester.
Waiting for this bill to become a law would be a mistake. Furthermore, just because the bill has been introduced, and has significant support, does not mean it will pass – and does not guarantee it cannot or will not be challenged in court. Furthermore, California is currently considering multiple bills that could change the statute of limitations with regard to CSA. Nevertheless, it could take months or even years before they are voted on by the state legislature.
More importantly, these laws are extremely complicated. It can take a long time to build a case, and time is not always on your side. If you’re intent on filing a lawsuit, contact an experienced attorney that knows what exceptions to the rules may apply, and what kind of deadlines to expect.