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State Senator

Mae Flexer

Representing Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson & Windham

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Senator Flexer Leads Advancement of Democrats “Time’s Up” Sexual Harassment Bill

HARTFORD, CT – Today, the Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 3, “An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment,” advancing it in the legislative process and bringing it closer to potentially becoming law. Also referred to as the “Time’s Up” bill, this legislation would increase certain sexual harassment penalties, extend the time limits people have to file lawsuits for sexual assault, allow more time for criminal prosecution of sexual assault, and require more employer-sponsored sexual harassment training. Senator Mae Flexer (D-Danielson) is a member of the committee.

“Passing this bill out of committee shows that the legislature is committed to addressing the pervasive problem of sexual assault and sexual harassment,” said Senator Mae Flexer. “Thanks to the ‘Time’s Up’ and “Me Too’ movements, society’s view on these issues is changing. This change is long overdue and I’m proud that the legislature is taking concrete steps to help change the status quo and the conversation around what behaviors are acceptable in our communities and workplaces. We are telling victims we believe you, a change in our viewpoints on these issues that are long overdue.”

Statutes of Limitations for Criminal Cases of Sexual Assault

Compared to other states and the District of Columbia, Connecticut’s statute of limitations for rape of an adult -- five years -- is one of the shortest in the country. Twenty-five other states have no statute of limitations for rape, and 20 states have a limit longer than Connecticut’s.

Senate Bill 3 would extend our existing statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes from five years to no limit in Class B and C felony sexual assault (e.g., forced rape, rape by drugs), and from five years to 25 years in Class D felony sexual assault (e.g., forced sexual contact) for adults and 35 years for victims aged 18, 19, and 20. Also, Senate Bill 3 eliminates the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of a minor.

Statutes of Limitations for Civil Cases of Sexual Assault

In addition, Senate Bill 3 makes changes to the statute of limitations for civil cases of sexual assault. Currently the statute of limitations for a victim under 18 is the victim’s 48th birthday. Reports vary, but the average age a victimized minor discloses their abuse is age 52 or older. This bill would extend the statute of limitations for those under 18 to those under 21 years old. Additionally, it will extend the time to bring a claim from the victim’s 48th birthday to their 56th birthday. Under current law, sexual abuse of adults has a statute of limitations of 3 years. This bill would extend the statute of limitations for rape and other serious acts committed against an adult from 3 years to 5 years.

Workplace Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

Currently, employers with only 50 or more employees are required to provide at least two hours of training on sexual harassment to supervisory employees within six months of their employment. Senate Bill 3 requires employers with three or more employees to provide training to all employees, not just supervisors.

“Sexual assault and harassment cannot and should not be tolerated,” said Senator Flexer. “This legislation will make our workplaces safer for all employees and show victims of sexual assault and harassment that they are being heard. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure final passage of this bill.”

The bill now awaits a vote by the Senate.

 

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