FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Poe: Shaylyn Hynes, 202-225-6565, Shaylyn.Hynes@mail.house.gov
Contact Poe: Michael Eisenstatt, 202-225-3265, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), co-founder of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced H.R. 6036, Extending Justice for Sex Crime Victims Act of 2016. The bi-partisan bill harmonizes the statute of limitations for sex abuse victims and sex trafficking victim minors to 28, rather than the current age of 21.
Under current law, victims of both trafficking and other federal sex offenses are able to obtain justice by bringing civil claims against their perpetrators. While both sections allow claims for 10 years after the underlying offense, Section 1595 (trafficking) also allows claims until the minor is 28, but Section 2255 (other sex crimes) only permits the claim until age 21. The legislation also clarifies that the statute of limitations does not begin until the victim actually discovers the violation or the injury.
“Love never comes with black eyes and bruises,” said Congressman Poe. “Trafficking and sexual abuse occur every day. Unfortunately, the vast majority of this abuse often goes unreported. Children are often victimized before their memories form, sometimes as young as three-years-old. This legislation takes the necessary steps to make the statute of limitations consistent for reporting sexual abuse and trafficking. Congress must stand up and be an advocate for children and victims.”
“Sexual abuse of children is a very serious crime that too often goes unreported,” said Congressman Cohen. “Our bill increases the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse to ensure that they have the time and resources they need to seek justice. Sex crimes often happen to young children who may not become fully aware of these crimes until later in their life. This is a common-sense, bipartisan bill, and I hope Congress will pass it.”