Statute of limitations

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 109 on statute of limitations sponsored by Reps. Steuerwald, Cherry, VanNatter, and Engleman.  The bill provides that an otherwise barred offense may be commenced not later than five years from the earlier of the date on which: (1) the state first discovers DNA evidence sufficient to charge the offender; (2) the state first becomes aware of a recording that provides evidence sufficient to charge the offender; or (3) a person confesses to the offense.

The bill was amended by consent to remove any mention of civil actions and to permit an alleged victim of a child sex crime to submit an application for victim compensation not later than five (5) years after the earliest of the date on which: (1) the state first discovers evidence sufficient to charge the offender with the offense through DNA analysis; (2) the state first becomes aware of the existence of a recording (as defined in IC 35-31.5-2-273) that provides evidence sufficient to charge the offender with the offense; or (3) a person confesses to the offense.

The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and several survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and/or their parents, testified in support of the bill. The anti-sexual violence organization Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) testified in support of the bill but urged the Committee to completely remove the statute of limitations.  The amended bill passed 10-0.

Read the bill at: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/senate/109