Delaware: In 2007, Delaware eliminated the civil statute of limitations for child abuse moving forward and opened a two-year window for victims of old crimes to come forward. Delaware has no statute of limitations for criminal prosecution of child sex abuse. During that window, which expired in 2009, more than 1,000 victims came forward to seek justice.

Maryland: There is no statute of limitations on felonies in Maryland, including cases of child sex abuse. In 2017, Maryland extended the civil statute of limitations to age 38 or three years after the defendant is convicted of a crime related to the victim’s abuse. Previously, victims had until they turned 25 to sue.

New Jersey: There is no statute of limitations for felonious sexual assault. In less serious cases, the criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse is the age of 23. New Jersey law includes a case-by-case discovery window. This allows victims to come forward to seek criminal prosecution or civil damages after the statute of limitations has expired if the victim can provide proof they are suffering harm they weren’t aware of before the statute of limitations ran out. Otherwise, the victims have until the age of 20 to sue.

New York: There is no criminal statute of limitations for rape of a child under the age of 13 and the other most serious child sex abuse charges. Otherwise, the criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases expires when the victim turns 23. The statute of limitations for civil claims against the perpetrator expires when the victim turns 23. To sue the perpetrator’s employer, victims must sue before they turn 21.

Ohio: Victims have until the age of 43 to seek criminal prosecution for child rape, the age of 38 for other felonies and 20 for misdemeanors. Victims have until the age of 30 to sue in civil court.

West Virginia: There is no statute of limitations for child sex crimes. Victims have until the age of 20 to sue, but the state does have a provision allowing victims to bring up claims if they believe they’ve suffered injuries that came to light after the civil statute of limitations expired.

 Pennsylvania: Victims have until the age of 50 to seek criminal prosecution for child sex crimes. They have until the age of 30 to sue in civil court.

(SOURCE: Child USA)

John Finnerty is based in Harrisburg and covers state government and politics. Follow him on Twitter @CNHIPA.

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