Louisiana Home unanimously passes invoice to extend statute of limitations for baby abuse

BATON ROUGE, La. – A bill to change the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse from 10 to 35 years was passed with unanimous support in House Tuesday.

Jason Hughes Rep. Of D-New Orleans said he filed the bill on behalf of every child sexual abuse victim and survivor.

The bill will be presented to the Senate for further debate after being passed 102-0 in the House of Representatives.

According to the National Rape, Abuse and Incest Network, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the country, a child is sexually assaulted every nine minutes. However, only 5 in 1,000 offenders are detained.

The National Child Protection Services found strong evidence between 2009 and 2013 that around 63,000 children were victims of sexual abuse each year.

Hughes said the median age at which child abuse victims report their trauma is 52 years.

This bill would change the oldest age at which a victim can come forward and get justice from 28 to 53 and extend the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse to one year after the average age at which victims report abuse.

Rep. John Stefanksi, R-Crowley, asked why the bill does not completely remove the statute of limitations and give victims a chance at justice regardless of age.

Another point of contention is that the bill is not retroactive, which means that if they come forward after the statute of limitations before the bill becomes law, some victims will not stand a chance for justice.

Hughes said he would not accept such changes because he was determined to make sure the basic bill was incorporated into law.

Stefanski hopes the bill will be amended to expand the scope of the victims it protects when it goes to the Senate.

Rep. John Illg, R-River Ridge, spoke out in favor of the bill and mentioned a friend of his who recently contacted Illg for the first time about his own childhood sexual trauma.

Hughes said that “surprisingly enough” many child sexual abuse victims, who would not get a chance for justice if the bill were passed, still “stand up for the bill because they know how many victims it will help”.

Hughes also said that this bill is “not the end”.

He said he had received letters and emails referring to him as a hero, but Hughes said the victims, many of whom were “deprived of childhood and many of adulthood,” were the “real heroes.”

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