This simple comparison of child sexual abuse SOLs in two contiguous states, New York and Pennsylvania, should give readers an idea of the confusion and complexity when we widen the lens to take in all 50 states.
I (Hamilton) have a website, www.sol-reform.com, for which I regularly update a 50-state survey of criminal and civil SOLs for child sexual abuse. It is a Herculean task that takes a large team of students to accomplish. Not only must the law in 50 states be kept current, but updates are constantly occurring, as the law is in constant flux.
Whatever limitation is set in a particular state, eventually a case of heinous abuse is discovered that is time-barred–leading to a grave injustice. Then the state extends the SOL so the next equally heinous case will be covered. But unless the SOLs are eliminated, there will always be the next awful case.
- Penn State Scandal (theunionews.com)
- New Sandusky Accuser’s Suit Says He Was Abused 100 Times (nytimes.com)