House passes McEntee’s bill eliminating statute of limitations on 2nd degree sexual assault
STATE HOUSE – The House today passed Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee’s (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett) legislation (2023-H 5911) which would eliminate the statute of limitations for second degree sexual assault in criminal proceedings.
Currently, the statute of limitations to bring a charge of second-degree sexual assault is within three years after the commission of the offense.
“Second-degree sexual assault still causes irreversible harm and trauma for its victims and perpetrators of these vile acts should not be able avoid prosecution after only three short years of committing the attack. Victims deserve accountability and justice and this bill will ensure that the passage of time will no longer be a valid defense for these heinous sexual predators,” said Representative McEntee.
A person is guilty of a second-degree sexual assault if the individual engages in sexual contact with another person and if the accused knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapacitated, mentally disabled, or physically helpless, or the accused uses force, the element of surprise, or coercion, or the accused engages in the medical treatment or examination of the victim for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or stimulation.
The bill would also establish a 10-year statute of limitations for third-degree sexual assault.
The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration where Sen. Mark P. McKenney has introduced the bill (2023-S 0736).