I was reading an article today on the BBC website about the State of California's decision to repeat their statute of limitations for the crime of rape. Formerly the limitation period was 10 years.
To us in the UK, it might seem odd to have a limitation period for the prosecution of sexual offences, but other jurisdictions have quite strict time limits. Here are some examples:-
I have always held the view that limitation periods for crimes involving sexual abuse do tremendous injustice to victims, where as one judge once said "silence is one of the most pernicious fruits of abuse".
In relation to civil claims we have the Limitation Act 1980, whilst in Scotland there are proposals to abolish limitation periods in the civil arena. In California, the decision to abolish the criminal statute of limitations was prompted by the allegations of sexual abuse against Bill Cosby, the American comedian.
Malcolm Johnson, Specialist Child Abuse Lawyer