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.
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.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).