No More Statute of Limitations in Child Sex Cases?
The state legislature is considering a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations in child sex cases. If this bill passes, anyone could be charged with one of the most heinous crimes in the world, and threatened with life in prison, 30 years or more after it allegedly happened. How are you supposed to defend yourself against an accusation like that? Currently, the Texas statute doesn't run until ten years after the alleged victim's 18th birthday. Extending it beyond that, in my opinion, is a complete violation of due process. The chance of being able to find favorable witnesses, establish an alibi, or discover exculpatory physical evidence would be virtually, if not completely, impossible. It also opens the door to cases involving the completely discredited "repressed memories." I understand that the state has a strong interest in protecting society against child molesters, but at some point, these alleged victims have to take some responsibility for reporting the alleged crime. I think giving them ten years after they turn 18 is enough.
And one more thing on this subject . . . The article I linked to above has the same old quote from a prosecutor about how hard these cases are to prosecute, blah blah blah. Not where I live, they aren't. Juries routinely convict people charged with child molestation on the word of the alleged victim alone--even in cases with no physical evidence, no eyewitnesses, and glaringly inconsistent statements from the alleged victim. Many jurors still believe that no child would ever lie about such a thing, and when such heinous accusations are made, the presumption of innocence often goes out the window.