statue of limitations in Pa. for statutory rape
3 replies to this topic
Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:19 PM
Im wondering if i can still file charges for statutory rape that happened 38 years ago in the state of Pa. 7 year age difference. I was 15.
Posted 13 January 2013 - 04:18 PM
You can't file any charges yourself. All you can do is make a complaint with the local or state police where the act occurred, or the District Attorney for that county. It is ultimately up to the prosecutor to decide what, if any, charges are filed. However, under current PA law, it would be too late for the state to file charges here. Pennsylvania law provides that the latest charges may be brought for a sexual crime involving a victim under age 18 is the 50th birthday of the victim. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5552( c)(3). You were age 15 when the alleged crime took place, and that was 38 years ago. Thus, you are evidently age 53 now, and in that case it would be too late for the state to pursue. Moreover, the statute of limitation may have expired much earlier than that under the law that applied at the time the offense occurred. But, you are free to make the complaint if you wish; you have nothing to lose and it's up to the DA to determine if the statute of limitation has expired.
Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:28 AM
I agree with the prior response. The other problem you'd have, of course, is that the only evidence likely to exist is your testimony. If the defendant were to deny your allegation, then it would basically be a coin flip for the jury to decide which of you is credible. Your motivations for coming forward with something like this nearly four decades after the fact would be highly scrutinized. And statutory rape isn't exactly the crime of the century. For these and numerous other reasons, this isn't likely to be the sort of case that any prosecutor is going to be interested in pursuing.
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