A bill is on the verge of passing the state legislature to provide child victims of sexual assault more time to seek damages.LB 300, introduced by Omaha Sen. Bob Krist, advanced to final reading Tuesday.
The bill would eliminate the statute of limitations for any civil action brought against a perpetrator of sexual assault against a child, so perpetrators could be sued for damages anytime in their lives.
Already, there is no statute of limitations on criminal prosecution for sex assault, but when it comes to civil charges, the existing law is not as clear.
Krist said many victims of such assault require years to process the traumatic experience, and the bill gives victims opportunity for closure and justice.
Also under the bill, civil action against any person or entity, other than the individual perpetrator, could be brought within 12 years of the victim’s 21st birthday.
Krist removed an even tougher measure, applying the bill’s provisions retroactively to past cases that have already exceeded the statute of limitations.
Krist said removal of the retroactive provision would ease concerns about the bill’s constitutionality.
The bill was advanced to final reading by voice vote.