Published: May 12, 2021
By: Kathleen Peppo | LSU Manship School News Service
Legislation to change the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse from 10 years to 35 years passed with without dissent in the Louisiana House Tuesday.
State Rep. Jason Hughes, D-New Orleans, says he brought House Bill 492 on behalf of every victim and survivor of child sexual abuse.
The bill will go to the Senate for further debate after passing 102-0 in the House.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the country, a child is sexually assaulted every nine minutes. Only 5 in every 1,000 perpetrators, however, will be imprisoned.
National Child Protective Services found strong evidence between 2009 and 2013 that about 63,000 children per year were victims of sexual abuse.
Hughes said the average age at which victims of child abuse come forward about their trauma is 52.
HB492 would change the oldest age at which a victim can come forward and get justice from 28 to 53, extending the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse to one year past the average age at which victims report abuse.
Rep. John Stefanksi, R-Crowley, asked why the bill does not eliminate the statute of limitations entirely, ensuring victims a chance for justice regardless of age.
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