The Statute of Limitations refers to the period of time within which legal action may be taken. The Statute of Limitations for most sex crimes in California, for example, – including Child Exploitation – is ten years. Once that time has passed, a perpetrator cannot be prosecuted for that particular crime.
However, increased awareness of childhood sexual abuse is leading legislators in many states to consider lengthening, or even abolishing the Statute of Limitations for these crimes.
In California Senate Bill 256 (SB 256), authored by Senator Elaine Alquist, would eliminate the statute of limitations for sex crimes so that there is no time limit on prosecuting the criminals who commit these crimes.
To become more informed about the Statute of Limitations in your state, contact your state’s legislative offices. Online, running a search with an entry such as “Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes” will yield a number of results.