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Re: Stogner v. California

Posted by hm on October 21, 2005 at 23:41:20

In Reply to: Stogner v. California posted by APA on October 21, 2005 at 14:53:04:

I found this very interesting:

APA's Position: APA submitted a brief in support of the State of California to demonstrate that the assumptions underlyng the California statute are supported by scientific evidence. The brief addresses numerous scientific studies providing 1. research showing that the vast majority of child sexual abuse victims never disclose their abuse to anyone until they are adults, 2. research showing that sexual abuse frequently has harmful long-term consequences often lasting into adulthood, and 3. research showing that child molesters often remain a threat to children through most of their adult lives as there is a high rate of recidivism among those who sexually abuse children.

Results: The US Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling held that "a law enacted after expiration of a previously applicable limitations period violates the Ex Post Facto Clause when it is applied to revive a previously time-barred prosecution." The Court stated that reviving criminal charges precluded by the statute of limitations or increasing the penalty for a crime after the crime is committed are the very that ex post facto laws were meant to include. The ruling applies only to offenders who were already protected from prosecution by the expiration of a three-year statute of limitations -- a limit that has since been lifted. While the Court did not uphold California's law allowing prosecution of child molesters who previously could invoke the statute of limitations as a defense, the decision was a narrow one. Research was relied on in an extensive dissent supporting the position that many children delay reporting sexual abuse until they are adults.