In Michigan right now, Murder, Solicitation to Commit Murder, Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First degree, and violations of Michigan’s Anti-Terrorism Act are all crimes that have no statute of limitations. This means that if someone is discovered to have committed any of these specific crimes, 10, 30, or even 60 years ago, they can still be charged.
In essence, there is no time limit placed on prosecuting those crimes. Someone can be charged and convicted at any time after violating these laws. But while that isn’t the case for most crimes in Michigan, right now local lawmakers are looking to add another one to the list.
A Senate bill introduced to the Committee on Judiciary proposes that the statute of limitations on Child Sex Abuse in Michigan be removed. According to the bill, this would mean that anyone accused of sexually abusing a child could be charged at any time after the crime was committed.
The bill, which was sponsored by State Senator Steve Bieda, was unanimously passed by The Senate Judiciary Committee in September of 2016. If passed into law, this bill would eliminate the current requirement that certain charges be filed within 10 years of the incident, or in the case of a minor victim, that it is filed before the accuser turns 21.
According to Senator Bieda, numerous experts on child sexual abuse have argued that a substantial number of child victims are unable to talk about what happened to them, let alone make a report to authorities. As a result, it can take decades for them to make a report, which means that in many cases, the window of opportunity to seek justice has closed by the time they are ready to step forward with details about the crime against them.
In a written statement that Bieda made at the time that the bill was first proposed, he made the statement that “sexual exploitation of children is one of the most heinous crimes conceivable.” He went on to state that “Michigan law must be able to hold perpetrators accountable, regardless of how long it takes victims to report, and I am glad that my colleagues and I were able to agree on this issue.”
It is important to note that, according to this bill, sexual abuse of a child includes any crime of a sexual nature where a minor is the victim. This could include:
- Child Molestation
- Production or Possession of Child Pornography
- Statutory Rape (where the alleged victim is underage)
- Assault with Intent To Commit Sexual Penetration (where the alleged victim is underage)
- Assault with Intent To Commit Sexual Conduct Involving Contact (where the alleged victim is underage)
- Trafficking a Minor (sex trafficking)
- Accosting a Minor
If you or a loved one have been accused of sexually exploiting a child, whether the allegations refer to a recent incident or an older incident, you need to contact us immediately at 866-346-5879. Being accused of a sex crime involving a child will very likely result in criminal charges, along with a CPS investigation that could mean having your children removed by the state.
Our experienced CPS and child abuse defense attorneys have spent decades defending the families and parents of Michigan. Our primary goal is to ensure that no one is railroaded by CPS, and that Michigan families are able to stay together. An attorney is available to discuss your case 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today to ensure that your future is protected!