Sometimes it takes a tragedy to establish or improve public policy.
For years, varying state statutes of limitation have kept victims of child sexual abuse from closure, with abusers evading justice.
In Pennsylvania, the criminal statutes of limitation extends until the victim reaches the age of 50. In New York, it’s 18. But since news of the Penn State scandal broke, the public has learned about laws seldom discussed. In Syracuse, despite finding the allegations to be credible, prosecutors have declined to pursue criminal sex abuse charges against former assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine because of the case’s statutes of limitation. Several states are already fighting back, trying to expand or even eliminate the statutes of limitation on these cases.
Why did it take so long? The very nature of the crime is predicated on secrecy and shame and manipulation. It often takes years, and even decades, for victims to grasp what has happened, and even more time to pursue legal recourse. In the wake of the recent scandals, survivors and authorities are forced to respond to the failures of the system and build a better path for justice.
Seattle attorney Tim Kosnoff has represented more than 500 victims of childhood sex abuse.
To find out more, visit Kosnoff.com or call: