A new law that extends the timeframe that victims of childhood sexual abuse has taken effect in California. Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) was signed in October by Gov. Gavin Newsom and took effect on January 1 of this year. The bill changes existing laws in the following ways:
AB 218 also changes the terminology from “childhood sexual abuse” to “childhood sexual assault,” broadening the definition of what types of sexual interactions a person can file an abuse claim for.
Assembly Bill 218 is a major change to California law, and it will have repercussions throughout the criminal justice system. This bill is the result of what many have seen as the continual discovery that sexual abuse of minors has been covered up by powerful people and organizations. You have likely seen the cases involving the Catholic Church, USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, Boy Scouts of America, and more. These cases have unearthed years of alleged coverups of minors being abused by employees and volunteers.
However, this law is not limited to civil lawsuits involving major organizations and their employees. AB 218 extends to anyone who might face allegations of sexual abuse, and for the next three years, there is an open “lookback window.”
This bill could affect you if:
If you suspect that you may end up facing a civil lawsuit due to allegations that you sexually assaulted a minor, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. You should not wait until you receive notice that you are facing a lawsuit before talking to a child abuse attorney. At the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC, we want to be able to defend you against these serious allegations, and the earlier we can get started, the better. You can speak to your attorney confidentially, so you do not have to worry about what you say to us leaving the office. When you need a Riverside sex crime defense attorney, you can contact us for a consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 714-758-5293.