Prosecution Time Limits for Sex Abuse Crimes Abolished

There will be no more hiding behind arbitrary time limits, also known as statutes of limitations, for predators who commit sex abuse crimes in California. The Governor signed SB 813, which amends the penal code so that the following sex abuse crimes have no time limits to prosecute:

  • rape;
  • spousal rape;
  • forcible sodomy;
  • molestation of a child under the age of 14 involving “substantial sexual conduct;”
  • molestation of a child under the age of 14 by use of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person;
  • continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14;
  • forcible oral copulation; and
  • forcible sexual penetration

The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2017. It will apply to new crimes committed after the January 1, 2017 date. Or, to crimes for which the statute of limitations that was in effect prior to January 1, 2017, has not run. Under the old law, child molestation victims had until the age of 40 to come forward and have the crime prosecuted. Change comes slowly and in pieces in California. Sex abuse attorney and victims’ advocate Robert Allard, working with State Senator Jim Beall, successfully pushed to increase the age limit from age 28 to age 40 a few years ago.

The law firm of Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, led by the firm’s child molestation victims’ legal team, has also been trying to get rid of or to extend the time limits for sex abuse victims to file civil litigation against the institutions that enabled or covered up the behavior of a predator(s). Legislation authored by Allard and carried by Senator Beall has twice won legislative approval only to be vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Since 2009, the child molestation victims’ lawyers at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard have dedicated their lives to helping sex abuse victims and their families. As a result, we understand that the effect of sex abuse on victims is lifelong. Thus, we use the law and civil litigation to hold accountable those that fail to protect children.