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Gov. Reynolds signs bill eliminating statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases

IOWACAPITOL

DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- On Wednesday, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law that will eliminate the time limit allowed for minors who are victims of sexual abuse to press charges.

Senate File 562 removes the statute of limitations for sexual abuse or exploitation cases involving a minor. Previously, criminal charges had to be filed within 15 years of the victim turning 18, by the time they're 33 years old.

The new law also extends the definition of sexual abuse crimes of a counselor, therapist, or school employee to an adult providing counseling or training who is not a school employee.

According to Gov. Reynolds, Iowa is now the 14th state to eliminate the statute of limitations for child-sex abuse cases.

“Today Iowa stands in support of survivors of sexual violence as we become the 14th state to eliminate the statute of limitations for these heinous crimes,” Gov. Reynolds said. “I also want to thank Kimberly Gleason, a survivor of sexual abuse as a child, who tirelessly advocated for this bill. Without her bravery and the willingness of so many other survivors to come forward, we wouldn’t be able to hold more abusers accountable for their crimes.” 

Gleason released a statement on the bill signing:

“Starting today, the trauma that victims of child sex abuse endure will no longer outlive their ability to pursue criminal charges against their offenders. I am so honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to work with both our Iowa Senate and Iowa House, Republicans and Democrats alike, to make this happen. Even if a victim does not choose to pursue criminal charges, I pray this will help to restore their power, and may it lead them to find their voice. The number of professionals I have been blessed to have met in this field is incredible and exemplifies the power of showing up and being willing to walk alongside someone. You never know what one act of kindness will lead to, or the ripple effects it may have.”   

Kimberly Gleason

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