The statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse, exploitation, or incest is now the 45th birthday of the alleged victim. Previously, it was within two years of the alleged act or within two years of the time the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered that the injury or condition was caused by the act or that the act caused the injury for which the claim was brought. Under the old statute, the time limit for commencing an action was tolled for a child until the child reached 18 years old or until five years after the perpetrator was released from jail or prison–whichever was later.
When an action against a perpetrator of child sexual abuse, exploitation, or incest must be brought by a victim in Oklahoma
Now, the action against the perpetrator must be commenced by the 45th birthday of the alleged victim. If the person committing the act of sexual abuse against a child was employed by an institution, agency, firm, business, corporation, or other public or private legal entity that owed a duty of care to the victim, or the accused and the child were engaged in some activity over which the legal entity had some degree of responsibility or control, the action must be brought against such employer or legal entity within two years; provided, that the time limit for commencement of an action pursuant to this law is tolled for a child until the child reaches the age of 18. No action may be brought against the alleged perpetrator or the estate of the alleged perpetrator after the death of such alleged perpetrator, unless the perpetrator was convicted of a crime of sexual abuse involving the claimant. An action pursuant to this law must be based upon objective verifiable evidence in order for the victim to recover damages for injuries suffered by reason of such sexual abuse, exploitation, or incest. The victim need not establish which act in a series of continuing sexual abuse incidents, exploitation incidents, or incest caused the injury complained of.
There is no longer a requirement for the evidence to include both proof that the victim had psychologically repressed the memory of the facts upon which the claim was predicated and that there was corroborating evidence that the sexual abuse, exploitation, or incest actually occurred.
HB 147 amended 12 O.S. § 95. This law went into effect on November 1, 2017.
Sources: 12 O.S. § 95 & HB 147
If you have been accused of child sexual abuse, exploitation, or incest,