Sexual assault survivor wants Indiana to remove statute of limitations on sexual assault

Indiana's statute of limitations is five years for sexual assault and other sex crimes. A survivor of sexual assault and petitioner is pushing to lift that time limit altogether.

Posted on May 12, 2014 at 7:57 a.m.

A petition to eliminate the statute of limitations on sexual assault cases in Indiana has received more than 3,000 signatures since it was started in March.

The change.org petition was started by sexual assault survivor and victim advocate Joy Evans Ryder. Ryder told The Elkhart Truth's news partner WNDU she was assaulted by the youth director at her church when she was 15, but she would have had to report the crime within five years because if Indiana's statute of limitations.

"Knowing now that my statute of limitations has run out, after researching it, I really want to get this changed and eliminated for future victims," she said.

Indiana is one of seven states in the U.S. that has a sexual assault statute of limitations of five years or less, the Indianapolis Star reported. The statute of limitations is from six to nine years in 11 states and from 10 to 20 years in 12 states. There is no limit in 20 states.

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that there is a five-year statute of limitations on class B, C and D sexual assault felonies, but not class A felonies. Indiana also requires that prosecution for sexual crimes against children must begin by the time the victim is 31 years old. The statute of limitations is lifted if DNA evidence is found.

The petition is addressed to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Indiana State House and the Indiana State Senate.

What do you think about Indiana's statute of limitations on sexual assaults? Should there be a limit on how soon sexual assault crimes must be reported or prosecuted?

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