Bill would end statute of limitations on child sex crimes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bill would end statute of limitations on child sex crimes

Tennessee state lawmakers will discuss a bill this week that would do away with statutes of limitations that limit the prosecution of the most heinous crimes committed against children. Tennessee state lawmakers will discuss a bill this week that would do away with statutes of limitations that limit the prosecution of the most heinous crimes committed against children.

(WMC-TV) - Tennessee state lawmakers will discuss a bill this week that would do away with statutes of limitations that limit the prosecution of the most heinous crimes committed against children.

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky faces allegations of multiple sex crimes against children and some go back nearly 20 years. His case made national headlines for months and now it's influencing proposed legislation in Tennessee.

"The things that happened in Pennsylvania for instance, if some of this happened in Tennessee, Coach Sandusky could not be tried here," said Rep. Richard Floyd, (R) Chattanooga.

Last week, Floyd proposed removing the statute of limitations for sex crimes committed by adults against child.

The bill would do away with time limits on all forms of rape and sexual battery against a child, incest, producing obscene material and sexual exploitation of a minor.

As it stands right now, the time limits vary for each crime. For some, the statute of limitations is as little as eight years.

However, some lawmakers don't like the open ended time frame for prosecutors.

"I am going to vote against this," said Rep. Mike Stewart, (D) Nashville. "Not because I don't think you're trying to accomplish something important. I just, personally as a lawyer, I have never seen a situation where you can get that far away from what happened and really figure out what occurred in the courtroom."

But the bill received enough support to move to the next phase.

"They figure out what happened to them when they are a little bit older and sometimes these things are learned when it's too late," said Rep. Debra Maggart, (R) Hendersonville.

Wednesday, the Finance, Ways and Means Committee will discuss the bill.

A companion Senate bill has already been introduced.

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