April 10, 2008
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR PROSECUTING CHILD SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES
By: Sandra Norman-Eady, Chief Attorney
You asked for a comparison of the statutes of limitations for prosecuting child sexual assault cases in Connecticut and New York.
In both Connecticut and New York the most heinous sexual crimes against children may be prosecuted at any time. In Connecticut there is no statute of limitations for prosecuting (1) first-degree aggravated sexual assault when the victim is under age 16, (2) first-degree sexual assault when force is used and the victim is under age 16, or (3) first-degree sexual assault involving intercourse with a victim under age 13 when the offender is more than two years older (CGS §§ CGS 54-193, 53a-70, and 53a-70a, respectively).
In New York, there is no statute of limitations for prosecuting first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, or first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child (NY CPL § 30.10 (2) (a)). A person is generally guilty of the latter crime if he or she engages in at least two acts of sexual conduct with a child under age 13 over a period of at least three months (NY Penal Code § 130.75).
In both states, the statute of limitations for prosecuting other sexual crimes against children begins to run after the victim reaches age 18. However, Connecticut allows potentially more time to prosecute the cases. In Connecticut the statute of limitations for offenses involving sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual exploitation of a minor is 30 years after the date the victim reaches age 18, or within five years after the date the victim notifies law enforcement of the offense, whichever is earlier (CGS § 54-193a).
In New York, the statute of limitation for other sexual offenses committed against a child under age 18 is five years after the victim reaches age 18, or the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency or statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment, whichever is earlier (NY CPL § 30.10 (2) (b), (3) (e), and (3) (f)).