Can my molestation be prosecuted if 6 months have passed since the last incident?

UPDATED: Jan 27, 2011

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Can my molestation be prosecuted if 6 months have passed since the last incident?

I’m 16 and my stepfather molested me from the time I was 9 until about 6 months ago. When I told my mom, she left him. If I decided to pursue this, what would my chances be?

Asked on January 27, 2011 under Criminal Law, Louisiana


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

First of all, I'm so sorry to hear of your situation. At least you appear to have your mother's support which is a good thing.  As to what the chances will be of a successful prosecution, it's hard to say without more details of your situation.  However, what I can tell you is that it is not too late to file a criminal complaint against your step-father.  Certain time limits apply as to when a criminal complaint must be filed for a particular offense; these time bars are known as "statutes of limitations".  However the state of LA allows prosecutions of child sex abuse for up to least 30 years after the victim’s 18th birthday. 

Right now, especially since oyu are a minor, both you and your mother need to report your abuse to the police.  Most departments have units that specialize in sex crimes.  The officers are specially trained and will be sensitive to, and supportive of, your situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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