Capital Clicks

Iowa eliminates statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse

By: - May 12, 2021 4:37 pm

Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed legislation eliminating the statute of limitations for sexual exploitation of a minor. (Photo by Trym Nilsen via Unsplash)

Children who experienced sexual abuse will have no time limit to take legal action against their abusers under a new Iowa law.

“Today Iowa stands in support of survivors of sexual violence as we become the 14th state to eliminate the statute of limitations for these heinous crimes,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday in a press release announcing the bill signing.

Under current law, victims of childhood sexual abuse have until their 33rd birthday to bring charges against their abuser. The legislation removes that requirement, allowing people who were abused as minors to bring a case at any time. The bill also defines the position of an adult providing training or instruction to a minor and sets penalties for sexual abuse at the hands of those individuals.

Kimberley Gleason, a childhood sexual abuse survivor, worked with legislators on the bill.

“Starting today, the trauma that victims of child sex abuse endure will no longer outlive their ability to pursue criminal charges against their offenders,” Gleason said in the press release.  “… Even if a victim does not choose to pursue criminal charges, I pray this will help to restore their power, and may it lead them to find their voice.”

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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Katie Akin is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter. Katie began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.