A bill that would have extended the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse did not pass the State Assembly during this year’s legislative session. The Child Victims Act (A.2596) was pulled from the calendar on June 23, 2009 after Assembly leaders decided the bill did not have enough votes to pass.
Under current law, victims of childhood sexual abuse have five years from their 18th birthdays to report the crime and/or to file a civil claim for damages against their alleged abusers. The Child Victims Act sought to change the five year statute of limitations period so that it did not begin to run until the victim’s 23rd birthday, giving the victim until age 28 to file criminal charges and/or a civil lawsuit. This would have effectively increased the statute of limitations period from five years to 10.