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  1. #1

    Default Is There a Statute of Limitations on Molesting a Child

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Illinois
    My husband was molested as a young child. It took him a long time to come to terms with what happened. The man was his mothers current boyfriend, whom she had three more children with. My husband never told. Eventually his mother left the man and never heard from him. Years later the man has contacted my husbands brothers and sisters wanting a new relationship. This has brought many painful memories. Is there any way that after more than ten years that my husband can still go to the authorities and get this man put away for what he did? Or is it too late?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is There a Statute of Limitations on Molesting a Child

    There are SOLs that apply both criminally and civily. The prosecutor's office will be able to research the criminal SOL if he wishes to pursue it as a criminal matter; he'd need to file a police report with the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over where the incident(s) occurred. It will depend on EXACTLY what happened (which he'll need to explain to police) to determine the exact charge that might apply. Once that is known, then the appropriate statute of limitations can be determined. If it is determined to be a misdemeanor like lews/lascivious, the SOL is far expired (usually 18 months in Illinois - which starts running when the victim turns 18.) For most felonies, it's 3 years (which again, doesn't start running until the victim turns 18). However Illinois has some special exception for child sexual abuse that add a little more time for certain crimes under 720 ILCS 5/3-5; 5/3-7:

    incestual sexual conduct or penetration of a minor: 1 yr. after victim turns 18

    child pornography, indecent solicitation or juvenile pimping of a child, sexual abuse of a minor: within 1 yr. of victim turning 18, 3 yr. minimum

    sexual conduct or penetration in professional of fiduciary relationship: 1 yr. after discovery by victim;

    criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse: 10 yrs, or 2 yrs. if reported;

    criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or failure to report those offenses under Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act: 20 yrs. after victim turns 18;

    any offense involving sexual conduct or penetration of a minor where DNA profile of offender entered in database within 10 yrs., victim reported within 2 yrs. (unless given longer under statute), and offender's identity unknown: none

    As you can see, it's a complicated matter. Just have him contact law enforcement and let THEM sort it out. He needs to be aware that unless the suspect confesses in some manner, there is little or nothing for law enforcement TO investigate at this point (assuming it was never reported to anyone, no evidence or statements were ever collected, etc.). If law enforcement can't bring SOMETHING besides a victim's statement to the DA, the DA's hands are basically tied. That doesn't mean he shouldn't try, but he SHOULD be aware that success in such cases is EXTREMELY rare short of some evidence to tie the suspect to the crime.

    He should also be working with a therapist or counselor as the re-opening and repetitive re-telling of events can be extremely traumatic and support from an outside party can be very helpful.

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