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A girl is 17 now. She lives in Illinois. When she was 6, she was molested by her 17 year old uncle. Does the fact that this crime happened 11 years ago mean she cannot get justice? It was either in Phoenix or Southern Illinois.

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Maybe, depending on exactly what happened and where it happened.

In Arizona, there is no statute of limitations for sexual assault.

A prosecution for ... any offense that is listed in chapter 14 or 35.1 of this title and that is a class 2 felony ... may be commenced at any time.

Chapter 14 is titled "Sexual offenses", while 35.1 is "Sexual exploitation of children". It's likely that whatever happened will be covered by one of those two chapters.

The situation in Illinois is somewhat more complicated:

(720 ILCS 5/3-5) (from Ch. 38, par. 3-5)

Sec. 3-5. General Limitations.

(b) Unless the statute describing the offense provides otherwise, or the period of limitation is extended by Section 3-6, a prosecution for any offense not designated in Subsection (a) must be commenced within 3 years after the commission of the offense if it is a felony, or within one year and 6 months after its commission if it is a misdemeanor.

(720 ILCS 5/3-6) Extended limitations.

(j) (1) When the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, a prosecution for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or felony criminal sexual abuse may be commenced at any time when corroborating physical evidence is available or an individual who is required to report an alleged or suspected commission of any of these offenses under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act fails to do so.

(2) In circumstances other than as described in paragraph (1) of this subsection (j), when the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, a prosecution for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or felony criminal sexual abuse, or a prosecution for failure of a person who is required to report an alleged or suspected commission of any of these offenses under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act may be commenced within 20 years after the child victim attains 18 years of age.

(3) When the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, a prosecution for misdemeanor criminal sexual abuse may be commenced within 10 years after the child victim attains 18 years of age.

(4) Nothing in this subdivision (j) shall be construed to shorten a period within which a prosecution must be commenced under any other provision of this Section.

Depending on what happened, the statute of limitations may have expired eight or nine years ago (unlikely -- the above list looks fairly comprehensive), or she has until either her 28th or 38th birthday to file charges.

  • Unfortunately my parents said "it isnt our problem, leave it be," but thanks. I will try to convey this information to her and perhaps her or her family will use it? – JDSweetBeat Feb 17 '16 at 14:47
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It depends. Many states will hold that in such a case the statute begins to run when the child has grown into an older age and realizes or remembers what happened to her.......when she had mentality to understand that she had been wronged. You'll need to find this in your state code. I think another answerer may have done it for you. Good luck.

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