A new Iowa law eliminates the statute of limitations to bring criminal charges for several sex crimes committed against minors.
“Today, Iowa stands in support of survivors of sexual violence as we become the 14th state to eliminate the statute of limitations for these heinous crimes,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement after signing the bill Wednesday.
The new law, Senate File 562, covers crimes against children under 18, including sexual abuse, incest, sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
Previously, charges for those crimes couldn’t be issued after 10 or 15 years had passed since the minor victim turned 18 years old, depending on the crime. Charges could also come up to three years after an offender was identified through a DNA profile, if that date came after the other statute of limitations period.
While the new law eliminates the statute for criminal charges, it does not eliminate the state’s statute of limitations for bringing a civil claim. Currently, Iowans have up to a year after they turn 18 to file a lawsuit over abuse they experienced as minors. If the abuse was by a counselor, therapist or school employee, survivors can file claims up to five years after they are no longer enrolled at the school or receiving treatment from the therapist or counselor.
Read the full story at the Des Moines Register.