How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey, JD Your Own Question
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26785
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Zoey, JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My mother (aged 59) has recently committed suicide. I have

Customer Question

My mother (aged 59) has recently committed suicide. I have just found out that her brother was sexually assaulting her from the age of 9-12. My grandmother (her mother) refused to have him charged being concerned about the family reputation and thought she could handle it privately.
I am shattered by this news and angry my mother has left our lives so soon.
I feel like I need to do something but I don't know what I can do? I hold him responsible.
We live in Kentucky.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with your question.
Whether or not you could get your uuncle prosecuted will depend on the statute of limitations that was in effect 40 years ago when the crimes were comitted. These days we are much more tuned in to domestic violence and sexual offenses against minors than we used to be and as a result many states have no statutes of limitations -- meaning criminal charges can be brought at any time -- for non-consensual sex agains thte will of a minor.
Unfortunately, however, it's the statute of limitations that was available at the time the crime was committed that will determine if this matter can still be prosecuted. Forty-year old statutes are not available on line.
You would need a law library to look that up for your state. Alternatively, the prosecutor's office would likely know. So if you wanted to report your uncle to the police and say you wanted charges pressed against him, they would go forward if they still can.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If she has passed what would they rely on for evidence?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
The fact that she has passed away would be a problem, as the charges would be based on hearsay which would be inadmissible evidence. So even if the statute of limitations was not a problem, the prosecutor would not have enough evidence to meet his burden of proof and would not take this on.
You would need evidence such as a police report filed by the family at the time of the incident, testimony from witnesses, if any who actually saw the sex take place, some written dying declaration of your mother's or admissions made by the uncle.