September 2013 Archives

Statute of Limitations and Sexual Abuse Cases

Overcoming the Statute of Limitations in PA for sexual abuse cases In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations in most civil assault cases is two years from the date of the injury. If the injured victim is under the age of eighteen(18), the victim must file suit before they reach the age of twenty (20). However, the statute of limitations in sexual abuse and molestation cases in Pennsylvania is not as clear cut as it may seem. Pennsylvania law, 42 Pa. C.S. §5533 (b)(2)(i), presently states that victims of sexual abuse and molestation who are under the age of eighteen (18) when the sexual abuse or molestation occurs, must file suit before they turn thirty (30). This law was enacted on August 27, 2002. Individuals who were childhood victims of sexual abuse or molestation in Pennsylvania before this law was enacted are not afforded this extended statute of limitations, and thus are required to file suit before they turn twenty (20). One exception to the statute of limitations for sexual abuse and molestation in Pennsylvania surrounds what is known as the common law "discovery rule." The application of this rule allows victims to file suit within two years of the time:

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