Regardless of the location, crimes involving children are a big deal. The law takes lewd acts with a minor seriously, and swiftly takes action when necessary. Some of the legal language involved has led to a few misunderstandings about the law.
Passage of Time
There used to be a 10-year statute of limitations for lewd acts with a minor. This left a lot of victims without a way to seek recourse during the early years of abuse. Some of these matters ended up in court under different offenses as a mask for the original expired law. This offered some relief, but left a lot of victims unsatisfied with the results. Monetary compensation was a minimal victory compared to the justice they originally sought. Your local sex crime lawyers kept up with the law, and were rewarded with a significant change.
New exceptions in the law allow for more flexibility when seeking justice for these crimes. Felony sex crimes with a minor take into account PC 803(f). If the act is reported and backed with substantial evidence, then charges can be filed within a year of when it was reported. This exception helps victims that were abused as a minor and missed the original reporting window of 10 years.
Depending on the state, the statute of limitations is completely eliminated due to SB 813. Like the previous exception, substantial evidence is required for the case to move forward. But since this is a state specific law, the origin of the lewd act matters.
Overall, the 10-year statute of limitations is not set in stone like it used to be.
The Type of Act
Penetration is not required for the act to be considered lewd. The type of act still matters when judging the accused, but it is still considered a crime. Several cases have been considered open and shut without penetration being involved. That includes some cases relying on PC 288 as a guide, or when the crime took place where the statute of limitations didn’t apply. It is also a myth that the accused had to be aroused while committing a lewd act with a minor. It’s still considered a crime, and the mood changes very little about an ongoing case.
Intent Under PC 288
Intent has led to the biggest myths about lewd acts with a minor. The accused will sometimes argue that their actual intent was reciprocated. Since a child can’t consent, intent doesn’t matter in this situation. Arguments where the minor is of a legal age play out differently, and can be problematic in specific states where 16 is the age of consent. If the abuse started at an earlier age, legitimate proof will be needed to bring the case forward.
Children Need to Be Protected
Several events in a child’s life will change how they view the world. For every traumatic event, a child should be protected and informed that it isn’t their fault. Adults are there for children, and the law is always on their side.