A bill was recently introduced to the New York State Senate that aims to hold individuals accountable for committing sexual offenses against children under the age of eighteen. The Child Victims Act aims to eliminate the statutes of limitation for taking legal action against those who sexually abused children. It would also allow victims to file civil lawsuits for damages related to that abuse, such as individuals, private institutions, and public institutions.
The statutes of limitations means that after a certain period of time, a victim can no longer take legal action against the party that committed a violation against them. Currently, individuals who were victims of sexual abuse as a child are only permitted to file criminal or civil charges against the abuser until their 23rd birthday. If they fail to bring legal action against their abuser after that time, nothing can be done. Eliminating the statutes of limitations would allow these victims to come forward whenever they feel ready to do so, as the psychological effects of sexual abuse can last a lifetime.
This bill is currently only in the Senate Judiciary Committee and therefore, has a long way to go before either becoming law or being dismissed. Our firm is committed to maintaining an awareness of changes in laws and will continue to monitor this legislation.
If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter in New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation and we would be happy to assist you.