June 5, 2017

Sen. Bye Supports Stronger Law for Survivors of Sexual Assault

State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) this evening cast her vote for a stronger statute of limitation law in Connecticut for sexual assaults, giving the survivors of 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-degree sexual assault up to 10 years to report a crime – twice the current five year statute of limitations.

The bill passed the Senate on a unanimous and bipartisan 36-0 vote after passing the Judiciary Committee in April on a unanimous and bipartisan 39-0 vote. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“It’s a little unnerving that in Connecticut, you have six years to collect a debt on a written contract, but only five years to report a rape. This doesn’t change the burden of proof needed for a conviction in court cases, but it does help fix unacceptable discrepancies in our statute of limitation laws and it allows the survivors of sexual assault to get justice,” Sen. Bye said.

This bill extends the criminal statute of limitations for certain sexual assault crimes from five years to 10 years. The bill applies to the following crimes:

Under existing Connecticut law, and unchanged by the bill, is that:

  • in some circumstances, 1st degree sexual assault and 1st degree aggravated sexual assault are class A felonies, with no statute of limitations;
  • there is no statute of limitations for any of the above crimes in specified circumstances when there is DNA evidence;
  • in other sexual assault cases where the victim was a minor, the statute of limitations may extend as far as the victim’s 48th birthday; and
  • the statute of limitations is suspended if the defendant has fled the state before the statute of limitations has expired.