Friday, April 12, 2024

State General Assembly to consider doubling the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

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Featured photo by Chris Smith

Story by Noah McLane

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The Tennessee General Assembly is poised to pass a bill that would grant minors who survived sexual abuse the right to sue their abuser up to 30 years after turning 18, whereas current law sets the statute of limitation at 15 years.

The bill, HB1906, ensures an individual’s right to sue, not for the state to prosecute. Defendants in this instance could not face jail time since the cases would move through civil court.

Bill sponsor Rep. Jake McCalmon is proud of the progress the bill promises.

“These horrific events often traumatize victims for the rest of their lives,” McCalmon said. “Victims deserve accountability and the opportunity for justice.”

McCalmon also introduced a criminal justice bill that changes the classification of child abuse from a class A felony to a class E misdemeanor. The bill, HB1905, is intended to target “a person who commits acts of child abuse by knowingly treating a child under 18 in such a mannerr as to inflict injury.”

A public hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the bill has been scheduled for Feb. 27.

Both bills have wide support in both chambers and are likely to reach Governor Bill Lee’s desk in the coming months.

To contact News Editor Alyssa Williams and Assistant News Editor Zoe Naylor, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

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