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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1

    Default Statute of Limitations for Child Abuse in Texas

    Hello My fiance has a niece that is now turning 18 it has come out that when she was 5 or 6 her babysitter fondled her. She didn't know it was wrong so never said anything then just kept it to her self after she found out it was wrong. My question is is there a statue of limitations for this in Texas and what would this person be charged with. This has deeply troubled my fiance and I want to help. Please any info would be greatly appreciated.
    I thank you all for your time.

    Harold P.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Statute of Limitations for Child Abuse in Texas

    Depending on the charge pursued, charges may still be possible:
    Quote Quoting Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 12.01. FELONIES.
    Except as provided in Article 12.03, felony indictments may be presented within these limits, and not afterward:

    (1) no limitation:
    (A) murder and manslaughter;

    (B) sexual assault, if during the investigation of the offense biological matter is collected and subjected to forensic DNA testing and the testing results show that the matter does not match the victim or any other person whose identity is readily ascertained; or

    (C) an offense involving leaving the scene of an accident under Section 550.021, Transportation Code, if the accident resulted in the death of a person;
    (2) ten years from the date of the commission of the offense:
    (A) theft of any estate, real, personal or mixed, by an executor, administrator, guardian or trustee, with intent to defraud any creditor, heir, legatee, ward, distributee, beneficiary or settlor of a trust interested in such estate;

    (B) theft by a public servant of government property over which he exercises control in his official capacity;

    (C) forgery or the uttering, using or passing of forged instruments;

    (D) injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual punishable as a felony of the first degree under Section 22.04, Penal Code;

    (E) sexual assault, except as provided by Subdivision (1) or (5); or

    (F) arson;
    (3) seven years from the date of the commission of the offense:
    (A) misapplication of fiduciary property or property of a financial institution;
    (B) securing execution of document by deception; or

    (C) a violation under Sections 162.403(22)-(39), Tax Code;
    (4) five years from the date of the commission of the offense:
    (A) theft, burglary, robbery;

    (B) kidnapping;

    (C) injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual that is not punishable as a felony of the first degree under Section 22.04, Penal Code;

    (D) abandoning or endangering a child; or

    (E) insurance fraud;
    (5) ten years from the 18th birthday of the victim of the offense:
    (A) indecency with a child under Section 21.11(a)(1) or (2), Penal Code; or

    (B) except as provided by Subdivision (1), sexual assault under Section 22.011(a)(2), Penal Code, or aggravated sexual assault under Section 22.021(a)(1)(B), Penal Code; or (6) three years from the date of the commission of the offense: all other felonies.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Statute of Limitations for Child Abuse in Texas

    I don't understand what the code means. I am facing a similar situation. If the child was around 7 at the time and they are 19 now, is it still possible to pursue charges? That is over 10 years from the offense.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Statute of Limitations for Child Abuse in Texas

    Depending on the EXACT description of what happened, the 10 year countdown to limits on filing of criminal charges doesn't start running until the victim hits 18.

    Keep in mind a few things about criminal charges; particularly that the exact crime that would be charged is going to be based on the laws that were in effect at that time, not the laws that are on the books today (don't drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out unless you happen to have a law library in your back pocket - just make your report to police and let the pros do the work). And, filing of such charges doesn't often happen based on victim statements alone - and of course most offenders play stupid like they have no idea what investigators are talking about - so generally, police look for something "confessional", whether that be statements by the perp (either made now or documented back then), or cooborating victims, etc. Other things like if the victim ever told anyone about it when they were a child can be helpful too - but it's important for victims to be aware that cases based on an accusation alone without some other form of support rarely make it to arrest, much less to trial.

    On the civil case side of things, Texas has pretty liberal minority tolling and delayed discovery - up to a 5 year limit that starts counting from either the time the victim turns 18, or, until the plaintiff (the victim) discovers that the activity was some proximate cause of injury - even emotional injury.

    So both criminal charges AND suing the individual are both possible - criminal charges for up until the victim hits 28, and civil up to age 23 or reasonable discovery.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

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