Ask yourself two questions:
(1) Is there a more devastating crime than child sexual abuse?
(2) And is there a crime that’s more apt to be repeated than abuse if the offender isn’t caught?
That’s why we’re excited that. It’s a rigid, unwise deadline that gives predators incentive to intimidate victims, threaten whistleblowers, discredit witnesses, destroy evidence and sometimes flee to a new town, state or even country. It slams the courthouse door on already-wounded victims. It’s one of a child molester’s best weapons.
From Miami’s CBS station today: “Katrina Duesterhaus, 34, urged the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee to pass the proposal (HB 199), which would remove the statute of limitations in sexual battery cases when the victim is younger than 18 years old at the time of the crime.” https://miami.cbslocal.com/2020/01/15/florida-lawmakers-victims-target-statute-of-limitations-for-child-sex-crimes/
She says that five men raped her when she was 17, a heinous crime if ever there were one. Kudos to her for having the strength and courage to testify in Tallahassee on such a serious, painful and personal matter.
And kudos to Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood), Rep. Tracie Davis (D-Jacksonville) and the seven other House Democrats for co-sponsoring the measure.
While this measure targets criminal law, we hope lawmakers will also reform Florida’s CIVIL statute of limitations. That would give employers and institutions (churches, schools, Boy Scouts and others) to work much harder to prevent abuse and oust abusers quickly. No one who was raped, sodomized or fondled, especially as a child, should be locked out of our justice system. And no one who committed or concealed such horror should be able to exploit an out-dated legal technicality and continue to hurt kids.