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Lawgirl
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If someone who is going to be forty this year, is

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If someone who is going to be forty this year, is accusing a step Dad of molesting her when she was younger, because she cannot get any money out of him, can the person being accused go to jail? Or is there a statue of limitations?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lawgirl replied 8 years ago.

DearCustomer

Thank you for your question.

In 1990 the California Legislature amended Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.1, the statute of limitations governing civil suits for damages brought by victims of childhood sexual abuse. The effect of the amendment was to extend the time limit for commencing suit to eight years after the eighteenth birthday of the Plaintiff, or three years after discovery of the causal connection between the abuse and the resulting injury. (Section 340.1[a]) Moreover, the statute now codifies the delayed discovery rule which tolls the accrual of the action until after the Plaintiff discovers the nexus between her injuries and the sexual abuse.

This civil section explains that if someone just recalled being molested, they may have three years after discovering the abuse to bring a civil suit.

However, the court has declared it unconstitutional for criminal charges to be brought so late after the incident.

So, the daughter may be able to bring a lawsuit, if she can argue that she only recently realized what happened. However, if the plaintiff does not make this argument, there is the possibility that the judge will throw the case out of court due to the statute of limitations. This many years after the fact, the father will not face jail time or any criminal penalty.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, or require clarification of this matter. Otherwise please hit "ACCEPT", so I may receive credit for my response. Tips and feedback are also appreciated.

Good Luck!

-KAT

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
In this case she has always known it and so has her Mother. Neither of them did anything at the time. But now, almost 27 years later, she is in a financial bind and are trying to get money out of us. We do not want to give it to her, and she has threatened to send him to jail. I just need to know what I can tell her so this does not go any further. This was an isolated incidant.
Expert:  Lawgirl replied 8 years ago.

Well if she has always known it, then the statute has run. She has no legal recourse civilly or criminally. If she brings any sort of lawsuit, it will be barred by the statute of limitations and she will be estopped in equity from asserting her rights because she has slept on them.

 

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