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State by State Guide on Civil and Criminal Statutes of Limitations for Sex Crimes

More and more states have increased the time limit to their statutes of limitations for sex-related crimes such as sexual abuse or sexual assault. The purpose of these changes to state laws is to provide victims with a greater amount of time to file civil lawsuits for their sexual abuse or assault claims.

The contents of this guide will break down the periods during which victims of sexual abuse may pursue prosecution and civil litigation for crimes and harm according to the laws of each state.

What is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations is a time period specified by law during which a person may bring a case against a defendant. If the case is not filed within the prescribed period of time it will be forever barred. Under current law, there are two different kinds of claims a victim may make – civil and criminal. Each state implements civil and criminal statutes of limitations as a balance of justice for both survivors of sexual assault and the perpetrator’s rights.

How each state legislature determines its statute of limitations depends on critical questions regarding the discovery rule and other factors. These include asking what must occur to trigger the statute of limitations clock, whether any given factor justifies pausing the period of limitation, and whether it is fair to impose a criminal statute of limitations in the first place since it would allow the defendant to face no criminal punishment.

How common are sex crimes in the United States?

The prevalence of sex offenses in the United States is quite alarming. For women, 20% have been victims of either attempted rape or rape. Of those women, one in three became victims for the first time before reaching seventeen years of age. Thus, child molestation constitutes a large portion of American sex crimes. The vast majority of sex crime victims know their assailants. Of rape defendants, 51% are significant others of the victim, and an additional 41% are an acquaintance of the victim. In other words, less than 10% of all rape cases are by a stranger.

What are the long-term effects of sex crimes on survivors?

The injuries arising from unwanted sexual contact or a sex crime are not just limited to the violation during the crime. The following details the effects that sex offenders leave their victims to cope with:

Child victims face incredibly challenging traumas due to the fact that they are still developing at the time of the assault. Children may have an increase in nightmares, display signs of dissociation, have angry outbursts, or go into a state of depression. This may worsen depending on the number of instances of assault. Sadly, many child sex abuse victims are threatened by perpetrators and may stay quiet as a result.

Adults and adolescents also face significant risks and effects following sexual assault or rape. They may develop eating disorders as a coping mechanism due to negative perceptions of their bodies. They may engage in self-harm or attempt suicide due to the strong desire to escape the nightmare of being sexually violated. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may result – PTSD is best described as recurring feelings of anxiety, fear, or depression brought on by flashbacks or triggers to the traumatizing event. Sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy are also risks that adolescent and adult victims of sex crimes may face.

Each survivor is encouraged to seek legal advice in order to pursue his or her cause of action. While a prosecutor would be responsible for pursuing the defendant for criminal sexual assault or criminal sexual abuse, you may have access to financial compensation due to existing civil statutes allowing for it. Don’t hesitate to contact an attorney for legal counsel on your case matters today.

Determining Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes

The following sections focus on the differences between sexual assault, sexual abuse, and rape as defined under each state’s civil and criminal code. With some exceptions, many states determine the statutes of limitations for each type of sex crime differently, which is why it is crucial to understand the differences between each subdivision.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault involves a wide range of unwanted, criminal acts that are sexual in nature. This can include forced kissing or unwanted touching, such as groping but may also include threats. An example of sexual assault is sexual coercion by a company executive or boss toward his employee based on a promise of salary increase.

What is sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is more invasive than sexual assault. It commonly involves inappropriate touching or forcing a victim to look or touch the perpetrator’s genitalia.

What is rape?

Most damaging and invasive of all sex crimes, rape has been defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) as “the sexual penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” Unlike sexual assault or abuse, sexual intercourse is involved in rape, and it is a felony in all states as a result.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Alabama are:

Civil

Two years from the date of incident.

Criminal

One year after the commission of the offense. However, there is no time limit if the sexual assault involves a minor under the age of 16.

The statutes of limitations for sexual abuse in Alabama are:

Civil

Five years after the commission of the offense. However, there is no time limit if it was sexual abuse of a minor.

Criminal

Three years for felony sex abuse and for misdemeanor sexual abuse.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Alabama are:

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Alaska are:

Civil

Three years from the date of incident for misdemeanor sexual assault or felony indecent exposure, except for assault involving a minor. No limit for felony sexual assault.

The statutes of limitations for sexual abuse in Alaska are:

Civil

None.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Alaska are:

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Arizona are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

Seven years from the date the identity of the defendant is determined. Prior to identification, none.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Arizona are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

Seven years from the date the identity of the defendant is determined. Prior to identification, none.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Arizona are:

Civil

For child sex abuse victims, you must bring a civil claim within 12 years after turning 18 years old.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Arkansas are:

Civil

Three years from date of incident or in the case of a minor, from the discovery of the incident

Criminal

None for first-degree crimes and if the victim is a minor, and three years after the commission of the offense for second and third-degree offenses.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Arkansas are:

Civil

Three years from date of incident or in the case of a minor, from the discovery of the incident. A survivor of child sex abuse can only file a claim until they are 21 years old in Arkansas.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Arkansas are:

Civil

The statute of limitations is fifteen years from the commission of the offense, or if the victim is a minor, none. The availability of DNA evidence eliminates the statute of limitations.

Criminal

The statute of limitations is six years from the commission of the offense, or if the victim is a minor, none.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in California are:

Civil

Within 22 years of the date the victim reaches the age of majority or within five years the victim discovers or reasonably should have discovered the psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by sexual abuse, whichever occurs later.

Criminal

Within one year of the date of report to a law enforcement agency.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in California are:

Civil

Within 22 years of the date the victim reaches the age of majority or within five years the victim discovers or reasonably should have discovered the psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by sexual abuse, whichever occurs later.

Criminal

Within one year of the date of report to a law enforcement agency.

The statutes of limitations for rape in California are:

Civil

Within 22 years of the date the victim reaches the age of majority or within five years the victim discovers or reasonably should have discovered the psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by sexual abuse, whichever occurs later.

Criminal

Within one year of the date of report to a law enforcement agency.

NOTE: California legislatures recently passed the California Child Victims Act, which allows victims of child sex abuse to bring a claim regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred or how old they are now. However, the deadline to file a claim for California citizens is December 31, 2022.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Colorado are:

Civil

Within six years from the date of the action or within six years after the minor under the age of 18 reaches the age of majority, whichever occurs later.

Criminal

None if the victim was a child under the age of 18.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Colorado are:

Civil

Within six years from the date of the action or within six years after the minor under the age of 18 reaches the age of majority, whichever occurs later.

Criminal

None if the victim was a child under the age of 18.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Colorado are:

Civil

Within six years from the date of the action or within six years after the minor under the age of 18 reaches the age of majority, whichever occurs later.

Criminal

None if the victim was a child under the age of 18.

NOTE: Colorado passed Senate Bill 73 that removes the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits for victims of sexual abuse and other types of sexual misconduct beginning January 1, 2022.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Connecticut are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

None if the victim is under the age of 16 or the victim is under the age of 13 and the person charged with performing the act is more than two years older, or five years from the date the act is committed.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Connecticut are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

30 years from the date the victim turns 18 or 5 years from the date the victim notifies law enforcement agencies.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Connecticut are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

None if the victim is under the age of 16 or the victim is under the age of 13 and the person charged with performing the act is more than two years older, or five years from the date the act is committed.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Delaware are:

Civil

None.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Delaware are:

Civil

None.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Delaware are:

Civil

None.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Florida are:

Civil

None if the victim was under the age of 16, or within 7 years of the victim turning 18 or within 4 years from the time the incident occured.

Criminal

None if the victim was under the age of 16, or 8 years after the crime was committed if the victim is age 16 or older.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Florida are:

Civil

None if the victim was under the age of 16, or within 7 years of the victim turning 18 or within 4 years from the time the incident occurred.

Criminal

None if the victim was under the age of 16 or 8 years after the crime was committed if the victim is age 16 or older.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Florida are:

Civil

None if the victim was under the age of 16, or within 7 years of the victim turning 18 or within 4 years from the time the incident occurred.

Criminal

None if the victim was under the age of 16 or 8 years after the crime was committed if the victim is age 16 or older.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Georgia are:

Civil

On or before the victim reaches the age of 23 years or within two years of the date the victim knew or had reason to know of such abuse and that injury to the victim as established by competent medical or psychological evidence.

Criminal

Within four years from the date of the offense, unless DNA evidence is used to identify the accused and then there is no statute of limitations.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Georgia are:

Civil

On or before the victim reaches the age of 23 years or within two years of the date the victim knew or had reason to know of such abuse and that injury to the victim as established by competent medical or psychological evidence.

Criminal

Within four years from the date of the offense, unless DNA evidence is used to identify the accused and then there is no statute of limitations.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Georgia are:

Civil

On or before the victim reaches the age of 23 years or within two years of the date the victim knew or had reason to know of such abuse and that injury to the victim as established by competent medical or psychological evidence.

Criminal

Within 15 years after the date of the offense, unless DNA evidence is used to identify the accused and then there is no statute of limitations.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Hawaii are:

Civil

Within 22 years of the date the victim reaches the age of majority or within five years the victim discovers or reasonably should have discovered the psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by sexual abuse, whichever occurs later.

Criminal

Within one year of the date of report to a law enforcement agency.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Hawaii are:

Civil

Within eight years of the victim turning 18 or within three years after discovering an illness or injury during adulthood was caused by childhood sexual assault.

Criminal

None if the crime is a first or second degree felony.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Hawaii are:

Civil

Within eight years of the victim turning 18 or within three years after discovering an illness or injury during adulthood was caused by childhood rape.

Criminal

None if the crime is a first or second-degree felony.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Idaho are:

Civil

Within 5 years from the date the victim turns 18 years, or within 5 years from the victim discovers the act caused injuries or conditions due to the incident, whichever occurs later.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Idaho are:

Civil

Within 5 years from the date the victim turns 18 years, or within 5 years from the victim discovers the act caused injuries or conditions due to the incident, whichever occurs later.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Idaho are:

Civil

Within 5 years from the date the victim turns 18 years, or within 5 years from the victim discovers the act caused injuries or conditions due to the incident, whichever occurs later.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Montana are:

Civil

Before the minor victim reaches the age of 27, or no later than the victim discovered an injury caused by the incident.

Criminal

None if the victim was under the age of 18, or within 10 years after the date of the offense if the victim was an adult.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Montana are:

Civil

Before the minor victim reaches the age of 27, or no later than the victim discovered an injury caused by the incident.

Criminal

None if the victim was under the age of 18, or within 10 years after the date of the offense if the victim was an adult.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Montana are:

Civil

Before the minor victim reaches the age of 27, or no later than the victim discovered an injury caused by the incident.

Criminal

None if the victim was under the age of 18, or within 10 years after the date of the offense if the victim was an adult.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Indiana are:

Civil

Within 5 years from the date the state discovers DNA evidence to charge the offender, the state becomes aware of a recording that provides evidence to charge the offender, or the offender confesses to the crime.

Criminal

Within 5 years from the earliest date where the state becomes aware of a recording that provides evidence to charge the offender, or the offender confesses to the crime. If the crime is a level one felony there is no limit.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Indiana are:

Civil

Within 5 years from the date the state discovers DNA evidence to charge the offender, the state becomes aware of a recording that provides evidence to charge the offender, or the offender confesses to the crime.

Criminal

Within 5 years from the earliest date where the state becomes aware of a recording that provides evidence to charge the offender, or the offender confesses to the crime. If the crime is a level one felony there is no limit.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Indiana are:

Civil

Within 5 years from the date the state discovers DNA evidence to charge the offender, the state becomes aware of a recording that provides evidence to charge the offender, or the offender confesses to the crime.

Criminal

Within 5 years from the earliest date where the state becomes aware of a recording that provides evidence to charge the offender, or the offender confesses to the crime. If the crime is a level one felony there is no limit.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Iowa are:

Civil

Within four years of discovering injuries or damages resulting from the incident.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Iowa are:

Civil

Within four years of discovering injuries or damages resulting from the incident.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Iowa are:

Civil

Within four years of discovering injuries or damages resulting from the incident.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Kansas are:

Civil

Within three years of the victim turning 18 years old, or within three years of the incident, whichever occurs last.

Criminal

Within 10 years from the date the victim turned 18 or within one year from the discovery of DNA evidence if the victim was a minor, or within 10 years from the date of the incident, or within one year of discovery of DNA evidence if the victim was an adult.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Kansas are:

Civil

Within three years of the victim turning 18 years old, or within three years of the incident, whichever occurs last.

Criminal

Within 10 years from the date the victim turned 18 or within one year from the discovery of DNA evidence if the victim was a minor, or within 10 years from the date of the incident, or within one year of discovery of DNA evidence if the victim was an adult.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Kansas are:

Civil

Within three years of the victim turning 18 years old, or within three years of the incident, whichever occurs last.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Kentucky are:

Civil

Within 10 years from the date of the incident, within 10 years from the date the victim became aware of the act, within 10 years of the victim reaching age 18, or within 10 years of the date the defendant was convicted of the crime.

Criminal

None if the crime was a felony. One year from the date of the incident if the crime was a misdemeanor and the victim was an adult.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Kentucky are:

Civil

Within 10 years from the date of the incident, within 10 years from the date the victim became aware of the act, within 10 years of the victim reaching age 18, or within 10 years of the date the defendant was convicted of the crime.

Criminal

None if the crime was a felony. One year from the date of the incident if the crime was a misdemeanor and the victim was an adult.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Kentucky are:

Civil

Within 10 years from the date of the incident, within 10 years from the date the victim became aware of the act, within 10 years of the victim reaching age 18, or within 10 years of the date the defendant was convicted of the crime.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Louisiana are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

30 years from the date the victim turns 18 years old.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Louisiana are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

30 years from the date the victim turns 18 years old.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Louisiana are:

Civil

None.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Maine are:

Civil

None.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Maine are:

Civil

None.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Maine are:

Civil

None.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Maryland are:

Civil

Victims under the age of 18 must file a civil claim within 20 years of their 18th birthday. Adult victims have three years from the date of the incident to file a claim.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Maryland are:

Civil

Victims under the age of 18 must file a civil claim within 20 years of their 18th birthday. Adult victims have three years from the date of the incident to file a claim.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Maryland are:

Civil

Victims under the age of 18 must file a civil claim within 20 years of their 18th birthday. Adult victims have three years from the date of the incident to file a claim.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Massachusetts are:

Civil

Within 35 years of the incident, or within 7 years from the date the victim discovered an injury or condition was caused by the act if the victim was a minor.

Criminal

With 27 years of the incident being reported to law enforcement or the victim turning 16 years of age.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Massachusetts are:

Civil

Within 35 years of the incident, or within 7 years from the date the victim discovered an injury or condition was caused by the act if the victim was a minor.

Criminal

With 27 years of the incident being reported to law enforcement or the victim turning 16 years of age.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Massachusetts are:

Civil

Within 35 years of the incident, or within 7 years from the date the victim discovered an injury or condition was caused by the act if the victim was a minor.

Criminal

With 27 years of the incident being reported to law enforcement or the victim turning 16 years of age.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Michigan are:

Civil

For minor individuals at the time of the incident, a claim must be fined within 15 years of the date of the incident or before the person’s 28th birthday, whichever is later. For adult victims of crimes of the second, third, and fourth-degree a claim must be filed within 10 years of the date of the incident. For first-degree crimes, there is no statute of limitations for adult or minor victims.

Criminal

Second through third-degree charges must be filed within 15 years of the incident or by the victim’s 28th birthday if the victim was under age 18. If the victim was an adult at the time of the incident, charges must be filed within 10 years of the date of the incident. For first-degree crimes, there is no statute of limitations.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Michigan are:

Civil

Within two years of the incident if it involved assault or battery, within five years if the perpetrator lived with the victim, or by the victim’s 19th birthday if the victim was under age 18 at the time of abuse.

Criminal

Second through third-degree charges must be filed within 15 years of the incident or by the victim’s 28th birthday if the victim was under age 18. If the victim was an adult at the time of the incident, charges must be filed within 10 years of the date of the incident. For first-degree crimes, there is no statute of limitations.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Michigan are:

Civil

For minor individuals at the time of the incident, a claim must be fined within 15 years of the date of the incident or before the person’s 28th birthday, whichever is later. For adult victims of crimes of the second, third, and fourth-degree a claim must be filed within 10 years of the date of the incident. For first-degree crimes, there is no statute of limitations for adult or minor victims.

Criminal

Second through third-degree charges must be filed within 15 years of the incident or by the victim’s 28th birthday if the victim was under age 18. If the victim was an adult at the time of the incident, charges must be filed within 10 years of the date of the incident. For first-degree crimes, there is no statute of limitations.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Minnesota are:

Civil

None.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Minnesota are:

Civil

None.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Minnesota are:

Civil

None.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Mississippi are:

Civil

Three years from the date of the incident, or three years from the date the victim became aware of injury caused by the incident.

Criminal

None if the victim is a child, but if the victim is over the age of 18, charges must be filed within two years of the date of the offense.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Mississippi are:

Civil

Three years from the date of the incident, or three years from the date the victim became aware of injury caused by the incident.

Criminal

None if the victim is a child, but if the victim is over the age of 18, charges must be filed within two years of the date of the offense.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Mississippi are:

Civil

Three years from the date of the incident, or three years from the date the victim became aware of injury caused by the incident.

Criminal

None for statutory rape, or if the victim is a child, but if the victim is over the age of 18, charges must be filed within two years of the date of the offense.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Missouri are:

Civil

Within 10 years from the date of the victim’s 18th birthday if they were a minor at the time of the incident, or within three years from the discovery of a physical or psychological injury caused by the incident.

Criminal

None if the victim is under the age of 18, or within three years of the date of the offense if the victim is over 18 years of age.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Missouri are:

Civil

Within 10 years from the date of the victim’s 18th birthday if they were a minor at the time of the incident, or within three years from the discovery of a physical or psychological injury caused by the incident.

Criminal

None if the victim is under the age of 18, or within three years of the date of the offense if the victim is over 18 years of age.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Missouri are:

Civil

Within 10 years from the date of the victim’s 18th birthday if they were a minor at the time of the incident, or within three years from the discovery of a physical or psychological injury caused by the incident.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Montana are:

Civil

Before the minor victim reaches the age of 27, or no later than the victim discovered an injury caused by the incident.

Criminal

None if the victim was under the age of 18, or within 10 years after the date of the offense if the victim was an adult.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Montana are:

Civil

Before the minor victim reaches the age of 27, or no later than the victim discovered an injury caused by the incident.

Criminal

None if the victim was under the age of 18, or within 10 years after the date of the offense if the victim was an adult.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Montana are:

Civil

Before the minor victim reaches the age of 27, or no later than the victim discovered an injury caused by the incident.

Criminal

None if the victim was under the age of 18, or within 10 years after the date of the offense if the victim was an adult.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Nebraska are:

Civil

Within 12 years after the victim reaches the age of 21, or within four years from the date of the incident if the victim was an adult.

Criminal

None for first-degree charges. For second and third-degree charges, there is no statute of limitations if the victim is a child, otherwise, charges must be filed within one year and six months of the date of the offense.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Nebraska are:

Civil

Within 12 years after the victim reaches the age of 21, or within four years from the date of the incident if the victim was an adult.

Criminal

None for first-degree charges. For second and third-degree charges, there is no statute of limitations if the victim is a child, otherwise, charges must be filed within one year and six months of the date of the offense.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Nebraska are:

Civil

Within 12 years after the victim reaches the age of 21, or within four years from the date of the incident if the victim was an adult.

Criminal

None for first-degree charges. For second and third-degree charges, there is no statute of limitations if the victim is a child, otherwise, charges must be filed within one year and six months of the date of the offense.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Nevada are:

Civil

Within 20 years of the victim reaching the age of 18 or discovers their injury was caused by the incident whichever occurs later.

Criminal

Within 20 years of the date of the offense, or if the victim is a child, before the victim is 36 if the victim discovers, or should have discovered they were the victim of sexual assault, or before the victim is 43 if they have not discovered and reasonably should not have discovered they were a victim of sexual assault by the age of 36. If DNA evidence is obtained the statute of limitations is removed.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Nevada are:

Civil

Within 20 years of the victim reaching the age of 18 or discovers their injury was caused by the incident whichever occurs later.

Criminal

Within 20 years of the date of the offense, or if the victim is a child, before the victim is 36 if the victim discovers, or should have discovered they were the victim of sexual assault, or before the victim is 43 if they have not discovered and reasonably should not have discovered they were a victim of sexual assault by the age of 36. If DNA evidence is obtained the statute of limitations is removed.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Nevada are:

Civil

Within 20 years of the victim reaching the age of 18 or discovers their injury was caused by the incident whichever occurs later.

Criminal

Within 20 years of the date of the offense, or if the victim is a child, before the victim is 36 if the victim discovers, or should have discovered they were the victim of sexual assault, or before the victim is 43 if they have not discovered and reasonably should not have discovered they were a victim of sexual assault by the age of 36. If DNA evidence is obtained the statute of limitations is removed.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in New Hampshire are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

If the victim was a minor, charges must be filed within 22 years of the victim’s 18th birthday. If the victim was an adult and the crime is a felony, charges must be filed within six years of the date of the crime, or within one year if the crime is a misdemeanor.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in New Hampshire are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

If the victim was a minor, charges must be filed within 22 years of the victim’s 18th birthday. If the victim was an adult and the crime is a felony, charges must be filed within six years of the date of the crime, or within one year if the crime is a misdemeanor.

The statutes of limitations for rape in New Hampshire are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

If the victim was a minor, charges must be filed within 22 years of the victim’s 18th birthday. If the victim was an adult and the crime is a felony, charges must be filed within six years of the date of the crime, or within one year if the crime is a misdemeanor.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in New Jersey are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

Within five years from the date the victim reaches the age of 18, or within two years of discovery of the offense by the victim, whichever is later.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in New Jersey are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

Within five years from the date the victim reaches the age of 18, or within two years of discovery of the offense by the victim, whichever is later.

The statutes of limitations for rape in New Jersey are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

Within five years from the date the victim reaches the age of 18, or within two years of discovery of the offense by the victim, whichever is later.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in New Mexico are:

Civil

By the time the victim is 24 years of age, or within three years of the date the victim had reason to discern how the incident harmed them.

Criminal

Within six years from the date of the offense if it is a second-degree felony, or within five years of the date of the offense for third or fourth-degree felonies; however, for minor victims, the time limit doesn’t begin until the victim turns 18. For adult victims, the statute of limitations is six years from the date of the offense if it is a second-degree felony, or five years from the date of the offense if it was a third or fourth-degree felony. There is no statute of limitations for first-degree felony offenses for adults or children.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in New Mexico are:

Civil

By the time the victim is 24 years of age, or within three years of the date the victim had reason to discern how the incident harmed them.

Criminal

Within six years from the date of the offense if it is a second-degree felony, or within five years of the date of the offense for third or fourth-degree felonies; however, for minor victims, the time limit doesn’t begin until the victim turns 18. For adult victims, the statute of limitations is six years from the date of the offense if it is a second-degree felony, or five years from the date of the offense if it was a third or fourth-degree felony. There is no statute of limitations for first-degree felony offenses for adults or children.

The statutes of limitations for rape in New Mexico are:

Civil

By the time the victim is 24 years of age, or within three years of the date the victim had reason to discern how the incident harmed them.

Criminal

Within six years from the date of the offense if it is a second-degree felony, or within five years of the date of the offense for third or fourth-degree felonies; however, for minor victims, the time limit doesn’t begin until the victim turns 18. For adult victims, the statute of limitations is six years from the date of the offense if it is a second-degree felony, or five years from the date of the offense if it was a third or fourth-degree felony. There is no statute of limitations for first-degree felony offenses for adults or children.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in New York are:

Civil

Before the victim reaches the age of 55

Criminal

None for first-degree rape. If the victim was under the age of 18 the statute of limitations does not begin until the victim reaches age 23 or when the victim reports the crime to law enforcement, whichever occurs earlier, then the statute of limitations is 20 years for second degree and 10 years for third degree.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in New York are:

Civil

Before the victim reaches the age of 55

Criminal

If the victim is under the age of 11 there is no statute of limitations, or if it is a first-degree felony. If the victim is 12 or older, charges may be filed anytime before the victim turns age 28.

The statutes of limitations for rape in New York are:

Civil

Before the victim reaches the age of 55

Criminal

None for first-degree rape. If the victim was under the age of 18 the statute of limitations does not begin until the victim reaches age 23 or when the victim reports the crime to law enforcement, whichever occurs earlier, then the statute of limitations is 20 years for second degree and 10 years for third degree.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in North Carolina are:

Civil

None for felony crimes and 10 years for misdemeanor crimes.

Criminal

None for felony crimes and 10 years for misdemeanor crimes.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in North Carolina are:

Civil

Until the victim reaches the age of 28.

Criminal

None for felony crimes and 10 years for misdemeanor crimes.

The statutes of limitations for rape in North Carolina are:

Civil

Until the victim reaches the age of 28.

Criminal

None for felony crimes and 10 years for misdemeanor crimes.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in North Dakota are:

Civil

Within 10 years of the victim’s 18th birthday or within 10 years from the date the victim discovered the incident. For adult victims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident.

Criminal

Within 21 years from the date of the offense if the victim was a minor, within three years from the date the offense was reported to authorities, or within three years from the date of identifying the suspect by the use of DNA evidence. Within 7 years of the date of the offense for adult victims.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in North Dakota are:

Civil

Within 10 years of the victim’s 18th birthday or within 10 years from the date the victim discovered the incident. For adult victims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident.

Criminal

Within 21 years from the date of the offense if the victim was a minor, within three years from the date the offense was reported to authorities, or within three years from the date of identifying the suspect by the use of DNA evidence. Within 7 years of the date of the offense for adult victims.

The statutes of limitations for rape in North Dakota are:

Civil

Within 10 years of the victim’s 18th birthday or within 10 years from the date the victim discovered the incident. For adult victims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident.

Criminal

Within 21 years from the date of the offense if the victim was a minor, within three years from the date the offense was reported to authorities, or within three years from the date of identifying the suspect by the use of DNA evidence. Within 7 years of the date of the offense for adult victims.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Ohio are:

Civil

For adult victims, a claim must be made within one year of the date of the incident or within one year of the date the victim learns who committed the act, whichever is later. For minor victims, a claim must be made within 12 years of the date the incident occurs, or within 12 years of reaching the age of majority.

Criminal

Within 25 years of the date of the offense, or within 5 years of the discovery of DNA evidence. If the victim is under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, the statute of limitations does not begin until the victim reaches the age of majority, or until the incident is known, suspected, or believed to have occurred.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Ohio are:

Civil

For adult victims, a claim must be made within one year of the date of the incident or within one year of the date the victim learns who committed the act, whichever is later. For minor victims, a claim must be made within 12 years of the date the incident occurs, or within 12 years of reaching the age of majority.

Criminal

Within 25 years of the date of the offense, or within 5 years of the discovery of DNA evidence. If the victim is under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, the statute of limitations does not begin until the victim reaches the age of majority, or until the incident is known, suspected, or believed to have occurred.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Ohio are:

Civil

For adult victims, a claim must be made within one year of the date of the incident or within one year of the date the victim learns who committed the act, whichever is later. For minor victims, a claim must be made within 12 years of the date the incident occurs, or within 12 years of reaching the age of majority.

Criminal

Within 25 years of the date of the offense, or within 5 years of the discovery of DNA evidence. If the victim is under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, the statute of limitations does not begin until the victim reaches the age of majority, or until the incident is known, suspected, or believed to have occurred.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Oklahoma are:

Civil

Before the minor victim reaches the age of 45, or within two years from the date of the incident or five years after the perpetrator is released from jail, whichever is later, for adult victims.

Criminal

Before the child victim reaches the age of 45 or for adult victims within 12 years of the discovery of the crime. No statute of limitations apply if DNA evidence is available.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Oklahoma are:

Civil

Before the minor victim reaches the age of 45, or within two years from the date of the incident or five years after the perpetrator is released from jail, whichever is later, for adult victims.

Criminal

Before the child victim reaches the age of 45 or for adult victims within 12 years of the discovery of the crime. No statute of limitations applies if DNA evidence is available.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Oklahoma are:

Civil

Before the minor victim reaches the age of 45, or within two years from the date of the incident or five years after the perpetrator is released from jail, whichever is later, for adult victims.

Criminal

Before the child victim reaches the age of 45 or for adult victims within 12 years of the discovery of the crime. No statute of limitations applies if DNA evidence is available.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Oregon are:

Civil

If the incident occurred before January 1, 2016, a claim must be filed within 6 years of the victim’s 18th birthday or within three years of discovering the incident. If the incident occurred on or after January 1, 2016, a claim must be made before the minor victim’s 40th birthday or within five years of discovering the incident. For adult victims, a claim must be filed within two years of the incident.

Criminal

For first-degree crimes, the charges must be filed within 12 years from the date of the incident, within 12 years from the date the incident was reported to law enforcement, or anytime before the victim turns 30 for victims under the age of 18. For second and third-degree crimes, the charges must be filed within 6 years from the date of the incident, within 12 years from the date the incident was reported to law enforcement, or anytime before the victim turns 30 for victims under the age of 18.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Oregon are:

Civil

If the incident occurred before January 1, 2016, a claim must be filed within 6 years of the victim’s 18th birthday or within three years of discovering the incident. If the incident occurred on or after January 1, 2016, a claim must be made before the minor victim’s 40th birthday or within five years of discovering the incident. For adult victims, a claim must be filed within two years of the incident.

Criminal

For first-degree crimes, the charges must be filed within 12 years from the date of the incident, within 12 years from the date the incident was reported to law enforcement, or anytime before the victim turns 30 for victims under the age of 18. For second and third-degree crimes, the charges must be filed within 6 years from the date of the incident, within 12 years from the date the incident was reported to law enforcement, or anytime before the victim turns 30 for victims under the age of 18.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Oregon are:

Civil

If the incident occurred before January 1, 2016, a claim must be filed within 6 years of the victim’s 18th birthday or within three years of discovering the incident. If the incident occurred on or after January 1, 2016, a claim must be made before the minor victim’s 40th birthday or within five years of discovering the incident. For adult victims, a claim must be filed within two years of the incident.

Criminal

For first-degree crimes, the charges must be filed within 12 years from the date of the incident, within 12 years from the date the incident was reported to law enforcement, or anytime before the victim turns 30 for victims under the age of 18. For second and third-degree crimes, the charges must be filed within 6 years from the date of the incident, within 12 years from the date the incident was reported to law enforcement, or anytime before the victim turns 30 for victims under the age of 18.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Pennsylvania are:

Civil

For victims ages 18 to 24 years at the time of the incident, claims must be filed before the victim reaches age 30. If the victim is under the age of 18, the victim may have a period of 37 years after reaching the age of 18 to file a claim.

Criminal

Within 12 years of the date of the incident for adult victims. For minor victims, charges must be filed before the victim reaches the age of 55.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Pennsylvania are:

Civil

For victims ages 18 to 24 years at the time of the incident, claims must be filed before the victim reaches age 30. If the victim is under the age of 18, the victim may have a period of 37 years after reaching the age of 18 to file a claim.

Criminal

Within 12 years of the date of the incident for adult victims. For minor victims, charges must be filed before the victim reaches the age of 55.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Pennsylvania are:

Civil

For victims ages 18 to 24 years at the time of the incident, claims must be filed before the victim reaches age 30. If the victim is under the age of 18, the victim may have a period of 37 years after reaching the age of 18 to file a claim.

Criminal

Within 12 years of the date of the incident for adult victims. For minor victims, charges must be filed before the victim reaches the age of 55.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Rhode Island are:

Civil

For minor victims, claims must be filed within 35 years of the date of the incident or within 7 years from the date the incident was discovered, whichever is later. For adult victims, claims must be filed within 7 years of the date of the incident.

Criminal

None for first or second-degree crimes.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Rhode Island are:

Civil

For minor victims, claims must be filed within 35 years of the date of the incident or within 7 years from the date the incident was discovered, whichever is later. For adult victims, claims must be filed within 7 years of the date of the incident.

Criminal

None for first or second-degree crimes.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Rhode Island are:

Civil

For minor victims, claims must be filed within 35 years of the date of the incident or within 7 years from the date the incident was discovered, whichever is later. For adult victims, claims must be filed within 7 years of the date of the incident.

Criminal

None for first or second-degree crimes.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in South Carolina are:

Civil

Within six years from the date the victim reaches age 21, or within 3 years of the time of the discovery of the incident, whichever occurs later.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in South Carolina are:

Civil

Within six years from the date the victim reaches age 21, or within 3 years of the time of the discovery of the incident, whichever occurs later.

The statutes of limitations for rape in South Carolina are:

Civil

Within six years from the date the victim reaches age 21, or within 3 years of the time of the discovery of the incident, whichever occurs later.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in South Dakota are:

Civil

Within three years from the date of the incident, or within three years from the date the victim discovers the injury or condition that occurred due to the incident. However, no person may recover damages for child sexual assault after the age of 40, other than from the person who perpetrated the act.

Criminal

Any time before the victim reaches age 25, or within 7 years of the date of the incident, whichever is later.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in South Dakota are:

Civil

Within three years from the date of the incident, or within three years from the date the victim discovers the injury or condition that occurred due to the incident. However, no person may recover damages for child sexual abuse after the age of 40, other than from the person who perpetrated the act.

Criminal

Any time before the victim reaches age 25, or within 7 years of the date of the incident, whichever is later.

The statutes of limitations for rape in South Dakota are:

Civil

Within three years from the date of the incident, or within three years from the date the victim discovers the injury or condition that occurred due to the incident. However, no person may recover damages for child rape after the age of 40, other than from the person who perpetrated the act.

Criminal

Any time before the victim reaches age 25, or within 7 years of the date of the incident, whichever is later.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Tennessee are:

Civil

Within three years from the date the incident was discovered, or within three years of the date of the victim’s 18th birthday for minor victims, or within one year from the date of the incident for adult victims.

Criminal

For minor victims: If the incident occurred before July 1, 1997, charges must be filed by the victim’s 18th birthday or within four years of the offense. If the incident occurred between July 1, 1997, and June 2006, charges must be filed by the victim’s 21st birthday. If the incident occurred on or after June 2006, charges must be filed within 25 years of the victim’s 18th birthday. For adult victims, charges must be filed within 8 years of the date of the incident.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Tennessee are:

Civil

Within three years from the date the incident was discovered, or within three years of the date of the victim’s 18th birthday for minor victims, or within one year from the date of the incident for adult victims.

Criminal

For minor victims: If the incident occurred before July 1, 1997, charges must be filed by the victim’s 18th birthday or within four years of the offense. If the incident occurred between July 1, 1997, and June 2006, charges must be filed by the victim’s 21st birthday. If the incident occurred on or after June 2006, charges must be filed within 25 years of the victim’s 18th birthday. For adult victims, charges must be filed within 2-4 years of the date of the incident.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Tennessee are:

Civil

Within three years from the date the incident was discovered, or within three years of the date of the victim’s 18th birthday for minor victims, or within one year from the date of the incident for adult victims.

Criminal

For minor victims: If the incident occurred before July 1, 1997, charges must be filed by the victim’s 18th birthday or within four years of the offense. If the incident occurred between July 1, 1997, and June 2006, charges must be filed by the victim’s 21st birthday. If the incident occurred on or after June 2006, charges must be filed within 25 years of the victim’s 18th birthday. For adult victims, charges must be filed within 8 years of the date of the incident.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Texas are:

Civil

No later than 30 years after the date of the incident for minor victims, or within five years of the date of the incident for adult victims.

Criminal

None if the crime was a felony or if DNA evidence is present.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Texas are:

Civil

No later than 30 years after the date of the incident for minor victims, or within five years of the date of the incident for adult victims.

Criminal

None if the crime was a felony or if DNA evidence is present.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Texas are:

Civil

No later than 30 years after the date of the incident for minor victims, or within five years of the date of the incident for adult victims.

Criminal

None if the crime was a felony or if DNA evidence is present.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Utah are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

Within 10 years from the date the victim reaches age 18; or for adult victims, within eight years of the date of the incident, or within four years from the date the incident is reported to law enforcement.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Utah are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

Within 10 years from the date the victim reaches age 18; or for adult victims, within eight years of the date of the incident, or within four years from the date the incident is reported to law enforcement.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Utah are:

Civil

None.

Criminal

Within 10 years from the date the victim reaches age 18; or for adult victims, within eight years of the date of the incident, or within four years from the date the incident is reported to law enforcement.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Vermont are:

Civil

None if the victim is a child.

Criminal

None if the victim is a child.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Vermont are:

Civil

None if the victim is a child.

Criminal

None if the victim is a child.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Vermont are:

Civil

None if the victim is a child.

Criminal

None if the victim is a child.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Virginia are:

Civil

Within 20 years of the date of the incident for minor victims, or for adult victims when the incident occurred on or after July 1, 2020, claims may be filed within 10 years of the date of the incident.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Virginia are:

Civil

Within 20 years of the date of the incident for minor victims, or for adult victims when the incident occurred on or after July 1, 2020, claims may be filed within 10 years of the date of the incident.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Virginia are:

Civil

Within 20 years of the date of the incident for minor victims, or for adult victims when the incident occurred on or after July 1, 2020, claims may be filed within 10 years of the date of the incident.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Washington are:

Civil

Within three years of the date of the incident or within three years the victim discovered injuries or conditions caused by the incident, whichever is later. The time limit for commencement of action is tolled until the victim reaches age 18 if the victim was a minor at the time of the incident.

Criminal

None for first-degree crimes when the victim is a minor. Within 10 years of the date of the incident up to the victim’s 30th birthday, whichever is later, for adult victims.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Washington are:

Civil

Within three years of the date of the incident or within three years the victim discovered injuries or conditions caused by the incident, whichever is later. The time limit for commencement of action is tolled until the victim reaches age 18 if the victim was a minor at the time of the incident.

Criminal

None for first-degree crimes when the victim is a minor. Within 10 years of the date of the incident up to the victim’s 30th birthday, whichever is later, for adult victims.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Washington are:

Civil

Within three years of the date of the incident or within three years the victim discovered injuries or conditions caused by the incident, whichever is later. The time limit for commencement of action is tolled until the victim reaches age 18 if the victim was a minor at the time of the incident.

Criminal

None if the victim was a minor. Within 20 years for rape in the first or second degree if the victim was an adult.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in West Virginia are:

Civil

Within 18 years of reaching the age of majority, or within four years of discovery of the incident if the victim was a minor, whichever is longer. For adult victims, claims must be filed within two years of the date of the incident.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in West Virginia are:

Civil

Within 18 years of reaching the age of majority, or within four years of discovery of the incident if the victim was a minor, whichever is longer. For adult victims, claims must be filed within two years of the date of the incident.

Criminal

None for first-degree offenses or within one year of the date of the offense for second and third-degree offenses.

The statutes of limitations for rape in West Virginia are:

Civil

Within 18 years of reaching the age of majority, or within four years of discovery of the incident if the victim was a minor, whichever is longer. For adult victims, claims must be filed within two years of the date of the incident.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Wisconsin are:

Civil

Before the victim reaches age 35 if the victim was a minor when the incident occurred or within three years of the date of the incident for adult victims.

Criminal

None for victims if it is a first-degree charge. Charges for second-degree assault of a child victim must be filed before the victim reaches age 45. For adult victims of second and third-degree sexual assault, charges must be filed within 10 years of the crime.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Wisconsin are:

Civil

Before the victim reaches age 35 if the victim was a minor when the incident occurred or within three years of the date of the incident for adult victims.

Criminal

None for victims if it is a first-degree charge. Charges for second-degree assault of a child victim must be filed before the victim reaches age 45. For adult victims of second and third-degree sexual assault, charges must be filed within 10 years of the crime.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Wisconsin are:

Civil

Before the victim reaches age 35 if the victim was a minor when the incident occurred or within three years of the date of the incident for adult victims.

Criminal

None for victims if it is a first-degree charge. Charges for second-degree assault of a child victim must be filed before the victim reaches age 45. For adult victims of second and third-degree sexual assault, charges must be filed within 10 years of the crime.

The statutes of limitations for sexual assault in Wyoming are:

Civil

Within eight years after the minor’s 18th birthday or within three years after the discovery for victims who were minors at the time of the incident. Adult victims must file claims within four years of the date of the incident.

The statutes of limitations for abuse in Wyoming are:

Civil

Within eight years after the minor’s 18th birthday or within three years after the discovery for victims who were minors at the time of the incident. Adult victims must file claims within four years of the date of the incident.

The statutes of limitations for rape in Wyoming are:

Civil

Within eight years after the minor’s 18th birthday or within three years after the discovery for victims who were minors at the time of the incident. Adult victims must file claims within four years of the date of the incident.

Should I contact a sex crimes lawyer?

Yes. No matter how long ago the abuse or criminal offense occurred, even if you were abused as a child, you may still be able to file a criminal or civil claim against your abuser and any organization that had vicarious liability. A sex abuse lawyer will help you determine whether you can file a claim depending on which state you are in and what kind of sex crime you experienced.

Contact the civil legal team at Herman Law today to receive a free consultation and determine your legal rights.

Contact or call them today