A bill was signed by Governor Bill Lee on Tuesday that changes the statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes.
The new law in regards to the statute of limitations in felony child sex abuse cases actually eliminates a time frame that a victim can come forward if the crime took place when the victim was less than 13 years of age. The new bill on the statute is now in effect (July - 2019).
The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations known as TACIR, conducted a study that led to the change in law. The study was requested last year by Senator Bill Ketron and Representative Mike Sparks. It was that study that led to the successful passage of the legislation to end the statute of limitations on certain child sexual abuse cases for children in the future. Representative Sparks said that Scott Walker at WGNS was the one who pushed for the change which led to the TACIR study that showed the average child sex abuse victim comes forward at age 48.
Both Representative Mike Sparks of Smyrna and former Senator Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro worked to make the bill move forward that was ultimately written by Representative Bill Dunn. The new law abolishes the statute for felony child sex abuse cases for victims under the age of 13.
Representative William Lamberth stated...
Rep. Sparks stated, "I want to thank my colleges in the Tennessee General Assembly for listening to victims of sexual abuse. The powerful testimonies of Scott Walker and Donna Turner Coulter led to the passage of ending the statutes of limitations on sexual abuse. Childhood sexual abuse is a very uncomfortable issue to discuss. PTSD from the traumatic effects during childhood from sexual abuse is something that needs to be addressed in our society. My hope with the sexual abuse legislation I've carried is to encourage victims to find some form of healing by seeking counseling and therapy and prosecute those who have committed these type of crimes."
Representative Michael Curcio of Dickson, Tennessee explains the new law...
Read all the latest in local news on WGNS here.