Guam – Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz has proposed a new measure to end the statue of limitations on the prosecution of sex crimes involving child abuse
A second measure would allow time for victims to take civil action against their abusers.
In a release, the Vice-Speaker says his aim is to bring justice to victims of child sexual abuse.
The measures are Bill No. 33 and Bill No. 34.
The release quotes Senator Cruz as saying
“These measures are intended to end the statute of limitations on the prosecution of sex crimes against children and to open a two-year window in which time victims of past abuse may take civil action in Guam courts. Statistics show that 90 percent of sexual abuse goes unreported, and thus, unpunished.”
“Our existing laws were not written to recognize this fact. We must not continue to tolerate these crimes by imposing due dates on civil actions by victims and on the prosecution of perpetrators.”
The Vice Speaker also argues that part of the reason why this most heinous crime against children goes unpunished is the inability or unwillingness of victims to deal with their abuse. And he says that even when a victim reaches the age of majority, most victims lack the emotional maturity, fortitude and means for legal recourse. The statute of limitations only serves as an additional reason for failure to report abuse.
Child sexual abuse and its prosecution are being discussed at the first Pacific Regional Conference “Strategies for Justice: A Pacific Vision” being held this week at the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort and sponsored by the National District Attorneys Association, National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse.