Laxalt seeks extension of sex crimes statute of limitations
December 27, 2018
Attorney General Adam Laxalt has requested legislation that would expand and extend the statute of limitations on sex crimes.
Under existing law, an indictment, criminal information or complaint charging sexual assault must be filed within 20 years of the crime. For sex trafficking, the criminal pleading must be filed within four years.
Senate Bill 9 would extend the sex trafficking statute of limitations to 20 years. In addition, instead of requiring an indictment, criminal information or complaint be filed within that time, it would remove that limit if, at any time during the 20 years, a victim or person authorized to act for a victim files a written report with law enforcement alleging sexual assault or sex trafficking.
Once someone files a report with law enforcement, prosecutors would have no deadline to begin a case against the defendant.
There has been extensive testimony during previous legislative sessions and studies that, especially when the victim is a juvenile, it may be years, even decades, before that person comes forward and reports the crime.
There's already no statute of limitations on prosecuting a murder case. But this bill would also remove the statute of limitations on any crime "committed during or in furtherance of a murder."
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SB9 will be reviewed by the Judiciary committees in the Senate and Assembly once the 2019 Legislature is in session.