Bill to abolish the statute of limitations for sexual battery against minors awaits Governor’s signature

court judge gavel

A bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for a sexual battery case involving a victim younger than 18 at the time of the offense arrived on the Governor’s desk late Monday.

Presently, a complicated framework exists enforcing a statute of limitations that hinges on the technicalities of the victim’s age, how and when they reported the assault, the degree of the felony and other reporting requirements.

If signed, however, HB 199 would change that and create consistency for prosecutions in Florida.

The measure is more commonly known as Donna’s Law, named after Donna Hedrick who was sexually abused by her music teacher and finally went public with her story after more than 40 years.

The bill was co-sponsored by Democratic Rep. Tracie Davis of Jacksonville and Republican Rep. Scott Plakon of Seminole County.

“When I think of the many lives that this bill could impact in the future and the message that it will send to people who seek to hurt children in Florida, I cannot help but think of the lives it could have touched, had there been no statute of limitations on the prosecution of sexual battery against minors on the books,” said Davis in May upon the bill’s passage.

The bill will not apply to offenses committed before July 1, 2020.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at [email protected] or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


One comment

  • CAROLE S TURNER

    June 22, 2020 at 10:24 am

    I pray this law passes. I am from Okeechobee Florida. I was sexually abused by a step father when I was nine, I’m 52 now and last year I filed a police report for the first time. My mother and family members knew what happened, my mother left him as soon as she found out but no one ever reported the abuse or charged him with a crime. I feel sure I wasn’t the last child he abused. So I look forward to the day that I can get justice and hopefully stop this pedophile.

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