Crist likely to sign elimination of statute of limitations on child sex crimes into lawby Dara Kam | April 22nd, 2010
After six years, victims of childhood sexual abuse stand a good chance of eliminating the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children between the ages of 12 and 16.
Senate President Jeff Atwater said yesterday he wants the measure to pass and Gov. Charlie Crist said today he’s likely to sign it into law.
“It probably makes sense. It just sounds like common sense. If you find out that somebody committed such a heinous crime as that and it was a long time ago, it still was a heinous crime,” Crist told reporters today.
The House is expected to vote on the bill (HB 525) and the Senate could vote on it as early as tomorrow.
The Florida Catholic Conference has successfully thwarted similar legislation for the past six years, and continues to lobby against doing away with the current statute of limitations for institutions like the Catholic Church but supports doing away with the time restrictions on cases involving individual defendants.
On Tuesday, the Conference wrote a letter to Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, asking him to amend the bill to address the Catholic’s concerns.
“The open-ended nature of these proposals creates tremendous uncertainty for any organization’s potential liability for alleged acts of negligence,” Florida Catholic Conference executive director Mike McCarron wrote to Atwater.
“There’s no statute of limitations on suffering so there should be no statute of limitations on justice,” Atwater, who is running statewide for chief financial officer, told The Palm Beach Post yesterday.