Last week, President Biden signed into law S. 3103, entitled “Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act of 2022.” The new law abolishes the statute of limitations (deadline in which lawsuits must be filed) for certain federal civil causes of action relating to child sex abuse. The prior deadline was ten years from the offense, 18 USC Section 2255.
At present, the new law is only prospective, not retroactive. In other words, it only applies to claims which are not yet barred by the statute of limitations or which have not yet occurred. It does not revive claims which have already expired.
This is yet another recognition that child sex abuse survivors require more time to pursue their claims than other personal injury victims. Hopefully, Ohio will get the message soon and pass similar legislation for claims based on state law. The current deadline of the age of 30 simply does not allow most survivors enough time to pursue their claims.
Konrad Kircher has spent the majority of his 30-year legal career fighting for the rights of sexual assault victims and has represented hundreds of survivors. He has argued five cases in the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of survivors, including challenges to statutes of limitations. As President of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, Konrad is leading efforts to improve laws and representation of sexual assault survivors nationally and locally.