September 23, 2019 — Lawmakers in Texas have extended the statute of limitations for sex abuse lawsuits to 30 years after the victims turn 18 years old.
House Bill 3809, introduced by Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, doubled the statute of limitations for childhood sex abuse lawsuits.
In most cases, survivors of sexual abuse will be able to file lawsuits until they are 48 years old, rather than the current 15-year threshold.
Survivors will also be able to file lawsuits against “culpable entities” that enabled abuse, including organizations such as churches or non-profits like the Boy Scouts of America.
The Senate re-introduced a provision targeting organizations after hearing testimony from three former gymnasts who were sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the convicted ex-doctor for the U.S. women’s Olympics gymnastics team and Michigan State University.
The gymnasts argued that the law would give institutions a much stronger incentive to intervene.
Another bill, HB 8, would pause the statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault lawsuits until the evidence is tested. This is important because many Texas police departments are still submitting rape kits from before 2011 for testing.
HB 8 was named the “Lavinia Masters Act” after a Dallas woman who was raped at knifepoint when she was 13 years old. Her rape kit sat untested for more than 20 years, far too late for her to file a lawsuit.
The Texas State Legislature also dedicated nearly $80 million to sexual assault services and programs over the next two years. The bulk of it — $48 million — will go toward testing thousands of backlogged rape kits at the Department of Public Safety crime lab, which processes rape kits for most Texas law enforcement agencies.
Do I have a Sex Abuse Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting sexual abuse induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been assaulted, raped, molested or sexually abused, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Sexual Abuse Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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