Sunday, April 30, 2006

Arkansas Court Rules Sex Abuse Case May Proceed When Alleged Abuse Occurred 8 Years Earlier

This case rose from alleged sexual abuse suffered by a minor child  between November 1, 1995, and December 31, 1997. On February 2, 2003, the child turned eighteen and in August 2003 she reported the alleged abuse to the Sheriff’s Department.  The action was dismissed by the trial judge because the alleged sexual abuse had occurred more than three years before the criminal information was filed on October 8, 2004, and because Ark. Code Ann. § 5-1-109(h)(8) (Supp. 2003) no longer provided that the statute of limitations on a violation of section 5-14-108 commenced to run on the victim’s eighteenth birthday.

The Arkansas Supreme Court reversed the trial judge’s ruling and reasoned that because the alleged criminal acts occurred between 1995 and 1997 when section 5-14-108 applied, the criminal action could be filed within three years of the act or acts, or within three years of the alleged victim’s birthday on February 2, 2003, when she turned eighteen. The action was filed October 8, 2004, well within three years from the alleged victim’s birthday.  The slip opinion of the Arkansas Supreme Court in PDF format can be found by clicking here (last visited April 30, 2006, reo).

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2006/04/arkansas_court_.html

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