Penal Code 803(g) now 803(f)
Extends Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse Crimes to One Year After Report to Law Enforcement.
Penal Code 803(g) allows prosecution for crimes within one year of a victim’s report to California law enforcement of sexual abuse he/she suffered as a minor.
This law became effective Jan. 1, 1994, which means that it would apply to lengthen the limitations period for any claim that had not yet expired by that date.
Penal Code 288.5
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child Under 14.
Requires three or more lewd or ‘substantial’ sexual acts with a child under 14 fourteen over a period of at least three months. The statute of limitations does not start running until the last act. This imposed penalties of 6, 12, or 16 years on any person who engaged in repetitive sexual abuse of a child over a period of time.
This offense has a six-year statute of limitations and was not created until 1989.
Penal Code 269
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child Under 14.
Imposes a sentence of 15 to life for enumerated sex crimes against a child (rape by force or fear, rape in concert, sodomy by force or fear, oral copulation by force or fear, forcible sexual penetration).
This offense, which would have no limitations period because it is punishable by life imprisonment, was not created until 1994. Therefore, any sexual crimes committed prior to 1994 would not be applicable because the statutes of limitations of have passed..
Penal Code 667.61
One Strike Law (Certain Sex Offenses Only).
Imposes life imprisonment as a punishment for Defendants convicted of enumerated severe sex offenses under certain circumstances.
This offense, which would have no limitations period because it is punishable by life imprisonment, did not become effective until Nov. 30, 1994. Therefore, any sexual crimes committed prior to 1994 would not be applicable because the statutes of limitations of have passed.
California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.1
The Delayed Discovery Doctrine
An action for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse may be brought within 8 years of the date the plaintiff attains the age of majority, or within 3 years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual abuse, whichever period expires later.
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Current Statutes of Limitations in California Concerning Historical Sexual Crimes (Criminal and Civil Convictions).
Text of Statute:
The Challenge of Seeking a Criminal Conviction Under the U.S. Constitution Concerning Historical Sexual Crimes.
This is a fundamental principle of the United States Constitution. Ex Post Facto is latin for "after the fact," which refers to laws adopted after an act is committed making it illegal although it was legal when done, or increases the penalty for a crime after it is committed.
Such laws are specifically prohibited by the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 9. Therefore, if a state legislature or Congress enact new rules of proof or longer sentences, those new rules or sentences do not apply to crimes committed before the new las was adopted.
Similarly, the same would apply in cases if a state legislature or Congress alters the proof required for conviction of a crime from that required at the time the crime was committed, or revives the statute of limitations for a crime (i.e., the time within which a crime must be charged) after it has lapsed.
For a criminal conviction, this means two things. First, the perpetrator can only be charged under a statute that was in effect at the time that he committed the acts in question. Second, for a charge to be viable, the statute of limitations for that crime cannot have lapsed at any point, because a lapsed limitations period cannot subsequently be revived.
This prohibition in the constitution against passing ex post facto law's, applies exclusively to criminal or penal cases, and not to civil cases.
The Power of the Petition
In the United States, millions of innocent people deal with the shattering consequences of sexual abuse, and yet 80% of all sexual abuse goes unreported. Even if you did know about it, there is nothing you can do in a court of law.
The statutes of limitations for crimes of sexual abuse vary widely from State to State with some as little as one year. That means a 6 year old has one year to tell someone that they were sexually abused, and if they don't because they are ashamed, terrified, or threatened, they will have to live with this horror their whole life. It will affect their future relationships, their self-esteem, even success in their career. These kinds of antiquated laws serve to perpetuate the suffering that sexual abuse survivors live with every day. The statistics can be seen here.
Police evidence has shown it takes an average of 25 years for survivors of sexual trauma to come forward and report the abuse they have suffered. Ironically, the statute of limitations for sexual abuse ranges from 5 to 10 years and in some cases, less. Survivors who want to find healing by prosecuting those who are responsible for these malicious crimes are further victimised when they discover they are unable to seek justice because the statutory time limits on child sexual abuse have expired...leaving their abusers free to continue their predatory ways, unchecked.
It’s time for the limit on justice and healing to be removed. Survivors of sexual abuse need the opportunity to heal in their own time, on their own terms, without shame or pressure.
We have started a petition to abolish the statute of limitation laws concerning child sexual abuse in the State of California. Our goal is to empower survivors from this collective community with a blaring voice and enable them with the necessary tools to bring this change to every State within the United States of America. We need your support to abolish this law and uphold justice.
What are Statutes of Limitations and Why Do They Exist?
The statute of limitations is a time limit in which a person has to file a claim. If the time limit expires, the individual who wishes to make a claim is barred from doing so.
Reasons for the time limit include witnesses moving, dying or an increase chance of evidence being lost or degraded.
It is interesting to note, however, that this standard does not apply elsewhere. For example, there are no statutes of limitations when it comes to the crime of murder or when prosecuting war criminals.