FL: To End Statute of Limitations on Child Sex Cases

April 19, 2010

postonpolitics.com (FL): End to statute of limitations for child sex offender cases advances.

All other crimes have limits on the length of time after which they can be prosecuted. This would be one more law which treats sex crimes more severely than all other crimes, including murder. The Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibits this practice.

An effort to do away with the statute of limitations on child sex molestation cases for crimes against children between the ages of 12 and 16 is headed to the Senate floor after some tense negotiations this morning.

The Catholic Church and criminal defense lawyers oppose the measure and tried at the last minute to extend the time limits, now three years after the child reaches age 21. Sen. Alex Villalobos, a former prosecutor and Catholic, asked a series of questions showing his opposition to the measure because of the difficulty those accused of the crimes would have defending themselves after decades pass.

Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Committee Chairman Victor Crist recessed the committee to allow both sides to negotiate on setting a number of years instead of doing away with the time limits completely, sensing bill (SB 870) sponsor Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, may not have had the votes to pass it.

The House version is also ready to be voted on by the full chamber.

The result of this will be a flooding of courts with new allegations of sex crimes which purportedly occurred decades ago, with no material evidence at all (because they occurred decades ago). How will you defend yourself against some child you knew 20 years ago when they accuse you of inappropriately touching them in the 1980s?

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