Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Thank you for your question, although I am very sorry that you have to ask it.
With regard to the criminal implications, North Carolina is a state that has no statute of limitations on any felony. So, the question would be whether the District Attorney feels there is enough evidence to press charges and whether charges would be pressed as a felony. If so, charges can be brought against the individual. Given the fact that the abuser was a child and it took place so long ago, whether charges are pressed or this case is prosecuted criminally, is something that will be left to the discretion of the District Attorney.
Whether someone will be able to pursue a civil action against the offender will depend on whether the victim had not reason to know about the abuse prior to now. Generally, a victim has 3 years after reaching the age of 18 to bring a civil action for damages that result from sexual assault. The statute may be tolled if the bodily harm was not apparent or was repressed for a period of time. Then the victim has 3 years from the time that the abuse was realized.
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