Is there a Statute of Limitations on Child Molestation?

Full Question:

Is there a statute of limitations on child molestation?
05/17/2007   |   Category: Criminal ยป child molest...   |   State: Indiana   |   #5109

Answer:

The applicable Indiana statutes are as follows:

IC 35-41-4-2

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a
prosecution for an offense is barred unless it is commenced:

(1) within five (5) years after the commission of the offense, in the
case of a Class B, Class C, or Class D felony; or

(2) within two (2) years after the commission of the offense, in the case
of a misdemeanor.

(b) A prosecution for a Class B or Class C felony that would otherwise be
barred under this section may be commenced within one (1) year after the
earlier of the date on which the state:

(1) first discovers evidence sufficient to charge the offender with the
offense through DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) analysis; or

(2) could have discovered evidence sufficient to charge the offender with
the offense through DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) analysis by the exercise of
due diligence.

(c) A prosecution for a Class A felony may be commenced at any time.

(d) A prosecution for murder may be commenced:

(1) at any time; and

(2) regardless of the amount of time that passes between:

(A) the date a person allegedly commits the elements of murder; and

(B) the date the alleged victim of the murder dies.

(e) A prosecution for the following offenses is barred unless commenced
before the date that the alleged victim of the offense reaches thirty-one
(31) years of age:

(1) IC 35-42-4-3(a) (Child molesting).

(2) IC 35-42-4-5 (Vicarious sexual gratification).

(3) IC 35-42-4-6 (Child solicitation).

(4) IC 35-42-4-7 (Child seduction).

(5) IC 35-46-1-3 (Incest).

(f) A prosecution for forgery of an instrument for payment of money, or
for the uttering of a forged instrument, under IC 35-43-5-2, is barred
unless it is commenced within five (5) years after the maturity of the
instrument.

(g) If a complaint, indictment, or information is dismissed because of an
error, defect, insufficiency, or irregularity, a new prosecution may be
commenced within ninety (90) days after the dismissal even if the period of
limitation has expired at the time of dismissal, or will expire within
ninety (90) days after the dismissal.

(h) The period within which a prosecution must be commenced does not
include any period in which:

(1) the accused person is not usually and publicly resident in Indiana or
so conceals himself or herself that process cannot be served;

(2) the accused person conceals evidence of the offense, and evidence
sufficient to charge the person with that offense is unknown to the
prosecuting authority and could not have been discovered by that authority
by exercise of due diligence; or

(3) the accused person is a person elected or appointed to office under
statute or constitution, if the offense charged is theft or conversion of
public funds or bribery while in public office.

(i) For purposes of tolling the period of limitation only, a prosecution
is considered commenced on the earliest of these dates:

(1) The date of filing of an indictment, information, or complaint before
a court having jurisdiction.

(2) The date of issuance of a valid arrest warrant.

(3) The date of arrest of the accused person by a law enforcement officer
without a warrant, if the officer has authority to make the arrest.

(j) A prosecution is considered timely commenced for any offense to which
the defendant enters a plea of guilty, notwithstanding that the period of
limitation has expired.

IC 35-42-4-3

A person who, with a child under fourteen (14) years of
age, performs or submits to sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct
commits child molesting, a Class B felony.

(a) A person who, with a child under fourteen (14) years of age,
performs or submits to sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct
commits child molesting, a Class B felony. However, the offense is a
Class A felony if:

(1) it is committed by a person at least twenty-one (21) years of age;

(2) it is committed by using or threatening the use of deadly force or
while armed with a deadly weapon;

(3) it results in serious bodily injury; or

(4) the commission of the offense is facilitated by furnishing the
victim, without the victim's knowledge, with a drug (as defined in
IC 16-42-19-2(1)) or a controlled substance (as defined in IC 35-48-1-9) or
knowing that the victim was furnished with the drug or controlled
substance without the victim's knowledge.

(b) A person who, with a child under fourteen (14) years of age,
performs or submits to any fondling or touching, of either the child or
the older person, with intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desires
of either the child or the older person, commits child molesting, a Class
C felony. However, the offense is a Class A felony if:

(1) it is committed by using or threatening the use of deadly force;

(2) it is committed while armed with a deadly weapon; or

(3) the commission of the offense is facilitated by furnishing the
victim, without the victim's knowledge, with a drug (as defined in
IC 16-42-19-2(1)) or a controlled substance (as defined in IC 35-48-1-9) or
knowing that the victim was furnished with the drug or controlled
substance without the victim's knowledge.

(c) It is a defense that the accused person reasonably believed that
the child was sixteen (16) years of age or older at the time of the
conduct.

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