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Bill to end statute of limitations for sex crimes advances

DES MOINES — A bill that would end the statute of limitations on sexual abuse and assault cases in Iowa advanced out of committee Monday. Right now, Iowa law re...
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DES MOINES — A bill that would end the statute of limitations on sexual abuse and assault cases in Iowa advanced out of committee Monday.

Right now, Iowa law requires charges to be filed for sexual abuse and assault cases within a certain length of time.

For example, if alleged sexual abuse happens to a person under 18 years old, charges must be filed within 15 years of the victim turning 18.

Senate Study Bill 3032, introduced by Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, would get rid of those limitations.

“Trauma that occurs when someone is sexually assaulted makes it difficult for survivors—especially for children—to articulate the details of what happened to them,” said Beth Barnhill, Executive Director for the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “The devastating impacts of sexual abuse and assault do not go away after 10 to 15 years, and neither should the penalty. Ultimately, we believe survivors deserve justice and healing, no matter how long it takes.”

In 2019, Iowa Casa said 24 states and the District of Columbia passed bills to reform their statute of limitations laws.

It has already received support from The Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

The bill will now head to the Senate floor for consideration.