In September, the governor of New York signed legislation to extend the statute of limitations for certain cases of rape and additional sex crimes. The legislation, backed by popular movements such as Time’s Up, went into effect immediately once it was signed.
The new legislation extends the period of time a victim has to take action against an abuser for a variety of sex crimes. For second-degree rape, the period was extended to 20 years. For third-degree rape, the statute of limitations was lengthened to 10 years. The previous statute of limitations for these crimes was five years. The legislation also details that victims now have 20 years to bring a civil suit for these offenses to court, extending the previous window a person had to report the crime.
By changing these statutes of limitations, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sees the new law as a way for survivors to come to terms with their trauma and seek justice. This bill follows a similar bill Gov. Cuomo signed in February called the Child Victims Act that extended the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims to file charges or civil suits against an abuser. States across the country are beginning to revise or create new legislation surrounding statute of limitations, and many activists present at the legislative signing in New York say this is a step in the right direction.
With new legislation in effect surrounding the statute of limitations for sexual crimes, there may be new opportunities for individuals harmed by these crimes to seek legal action and justice against their abusers. Whether the legislation gives you or someone you love the time you need to pursue legal action, or if you want to discuss your situation, you could benefit from contacting an attorney today.
An experienced attorney understands the sensitive nature of sexual crimes and their effects on survivors and could help you understand your situation moving forward. Whether you want a legal consultation or to chart your legal path forward, a compassionate lawyer could be there throughout your journey to help you pursue the justice and compensation you may be owed by your abuser.