PROTECTED BY CRONYS AND SOLs
Across region, outdated Sex Abuse laws have
Statutes of limitations bottle up information about who the perpetrators are and which institutions are covering up the incidents…
BOSTON, MA – LAWS RELATED TO SEXUAL MISCONDUCT BY EDUCATORS
Child welfare advocates are pushing for changes in a number of areas to discourage educators from abusing students and then continuing to work with children.
Age Of Consent
The age of consent, typically 16 to 18, is the age at which a person is able to legally consent to sexual activity. But many advocates argue educators should not be able to have sex with high school students of any age.
The age of consent in Connecticut is generally 16, but K-12 school employees are barred from having sex with students who attend the same school, regardless of the student’s age.
The age of consent in Maine is generally 16, but it is a crime for K-12 educators to have sex with their students, regardless of the age.
The age of consent in Massachusetts is generally 16, even in cases involving school employees.
The age of consent in New Hampshire is generally 16. But people are also barred from using an authority position to coerce a child under 18 into having sex.
The age of consent in Rhode Island is generally 16, even in cases involving school employees.
The age of consent in Vermont is generally 16, but increases to 18 for certain cases in which the offender is in an authority position over the teenager.
Statutes Of Limitations
States typically set a deadline for filing a civil lawsuit or criminal charges. But advocates say the deadlines pose problems for children who were victims of sex abuse because it can often take them decades to come forward.
Victims who were sexually abused as children must generally file civil suits before they turn 48 (unless the defendant was convicted of first degree sexual assault for the crime). There is no criminal statute of limitations for prosecuting class A felonies, such as aggravated sexual assault of a minor. However, lesser offenses must normally be filed by the time the victim turns 48 or five years from the date the incident is reported to police, whichever is earlier. Tighter deadlines may apply to offenses committed before May 23, 2002, when the law was changed.
There is no statute of limitations for abused children to sue either the perpetrator or employer. There is currently no criminal statute of limitations for sex offenses involving victims under 16 (though the deadline may have already passed for some offenses before the law was amended in the 1990s). Sex offenses involving victims 16 or older must generally be prosecuted within three to six years.
Victims who were sexually abused as children must generally file civil suits within 35 years after they become adults (by age 53) or within seven years after discovering the harm the abuse inflicted, whichever is later. There is no blanket statute of limitations for criminal prosecuting defendants for sex crimes involving children under 16, but independent corroborating evidence is needed for incidents that happened at least 27 years ago. Tighter deadlines may apply to offenses that occurred prior to Dec. 20, 2006, when the criminal statute of limitations was last changed.
Victims of sex abuse as children must generally sue perpetrators or employees by the time they turn 30 or within three years after they discover the harm the incident caused, whichever is later. Prosecutors can seek criminal charges for sexual assault against children so long as the victims are under 40. Note: In some cases, different deadlines may apply to older incidents that occurred before the current statutes of limitations were put in place.
Victims who were sexually abused as children must generally file civil lawsuits against the perpetrators within seven years after they become adults (25) or within seven years after discovering the harm the abuse caused. Victims must generally sue employers within three years after they become adults (21). There is no criminal statute of limitations for many sex crimes, including rape, first degree sexual assault, and child molestation sexual assault.
Victims who were sexually abused as children must generally file civil suits by the time they turn 24 (or six years from the date they discovered the harm from the abuse, whichever is later). There is no criminal statute of limitations for aggravated sex assault on a child; some other crimes must be filed within 40 years. However, the statute of limitations may have already expired for some offenses, before the law was changed three years ago.