In March, a bill was introduced by State Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL-Minneapolis) and State Sen. Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul) that would remove the statute of limitations for felony sex crimes. This means victims can report when they are ready, as opposed to what the current laws dictate.
As of right now, there are various time limits on reporting sexual assault crimes. For example, for a first-, second-, third- or fourth-degree sex offense against a victim under 18 years of age, the limitation period is either nine years after the commission of the offense or three years from when the offense was reported to the police. However, these limitation periods may not apply when there is physical evidence collected and preserved which is capable of being tested for DNA characteristics.
So if the bill passes, alleged victims will have the opportunity to report felony sex crimes from any point forward—beginning in August 2018. Furthermore, the new law will also waive DNA evidence requirement for various types of criminal sexual conduct. Although the underlying message of this bill is grounded on good intentions, it may be harmful to those facing current or reignited allegations.
Not only can this bill result in a substantial increase of reports of alleged sex crimes, but it would also lead to cases being introduced with potentially minimal evidence, several years—or even decades—after the alleged incident had occurred. Simply put, a person’s word may weigh more than the importance of evidence, which is essential to proving someone’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you are facing charges for a sex crime in Minneapolis, our experienced criminal defense attorney at Brockton D. Hunter P.A. can help you—no matter when the alleged incident took place. For more information, contact us today.