Hollywood is in an uproar after allegations revealing the widespread and rampant nature of pedophiles and sexual predators within the entertainment industry have come to light. Corey Feldman has been a vocal advocate for children within Hollywood warning people about the prevalence of pedophiles for years. Ronan Farrow’s explosive exposé has launched a social media movement that may be revolutionary in nature. Men and women across the globe are coming forward to share their stories of abuse, harassment, and assault at the hands of sexual abusers. While many are finding the path to healing by speaking out, some publicly for the first time, there are many cases that will never see justice in a court of law due to the statute of limitations.
Each state in the U.S. has their own laws and rules regarding the statute of limitations. One thing that unites each of the stories of sexual harassment and abuse that are beginning to unfold is the time of the offense. Corey Feldman has spoken publicly about abuse that occurred in the 80s.
In the Harvey Weinstein and James Toback case, some of the allegations date back to the 90s. Roman Polanski has been accused of sexual crimes dating back to the 60s.
No statute of limitations in NY for first degree rape. https://t.co/xiINpSiqVn
— Anne Marie Squeo (@AnneMarieSqueo) October 30, 2017
Many times cases are only picked up by state attorneys for prosecution if there is some legal loophole that will allow the case to move forward.
California tried to change their statute of limitation laws to help proceed with the Bill Cosby trial only to have those changes overturned.
During the height of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal, Massachusetts had to amend statute of limitation laws to allow adults who suddenly remembered the abuse the ability to prosecute.
Statute of limitations must be eliminated! Sex-abusing priest caused suffering for a generation https://t.co/dwnE1ww6LD
— Betsy Schindler (@betschind) November 1, 2017
There is no question about it. Statute of limitation laws in sexual abuse cases are absurd. They serve only to protect abusers from being prosecuted for crimes they committed.
Many of the victims who have come forward in the Weinstein and Toback cases are doing so against statute of limitation laws. With so many people banding together in unison, it shows the power that can be obtained when victims show solidarity.
Remember, in the UK there is no statute of limitations on sexual offences.
UK inquiry into Weinstein widens – https://t.co/rIoT73NHb4
— thewisdomtooth (@thewisdomtooth) October 31, 2017
Corey Feldman has been in fear of speaking out due to the same statute of limitation laws. Why?
Why should these laws exist that silence victims from the justice they deserve and the healing they need by publicly declaring they were abused?
As more people come forward to share their stories of sexual abuse and harassment, the attitude towards pedophiles and predators who safely hide behind statute of limitation laws will erode.
Only then, when the public realizes that these laws enable predatory behavior to not only remain unchecked but grow worse and more pervasive will things change.
What do you think about statute of limitation laws in cases of sexual abuse? do you think they should exist or is it time for things to change?