Chile removes statute of limitations on child sex abuse amid Church crisis

Authored by and submitted by jollytoes
image for Chile removes statute of limitations on child sex abuse amid Church crisis

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera poses for a picture after signing a bill that removes the statute of limitations on sex crimes involving children, at the government house in Santiago, Chile July 11, 2019. A placard reads: "The time is not an excuse" Sebastian Rodriguez/Courtesy of Chilean Presidency/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chilean President Sebastian Pinera signed into law on Thursday a bill to remove the statute of limitations on sex crimes involving children amid a sex abuse crisis that has rocked the country’s Catholic Church and claimed more than 200 victims.

The law, which first was proposed in 2010, ends impunity in cases that would have previously had a statute of limitations that varied between five and 10 years, depending on the nature of the crime. The new law is not retroactive.

“Beginning today, the passing of time will never more be an accomplice to those who abuse our children, nor an ally of impunity,” Pinera said.

The center-right Pinera revived the nearly decade-old bill last year, following a visit to the South American nation by the pope that brought to the surface a string of abuse allegations now being investigated by prosecutors.

Chile’s Public Ministry says it is investigating more than 150 cases of sexual abuse or cover-up involving the Catholic Church.

The new law applies to crimes of rape, sexual abuse, the production of pornographic materials and prostitution involving children and adolescents.

Just1morefix on July 11st, 2019 at 20:55 UTC »

Absolutely the right move. As long as there is evidence and a clear idea who the abuser is there should be no statue of limitations for these crimes. It may be much more difficult however to prove guilt in some cases because of the amount of time that has passed. But that doesn't mean turning a blind eye to the abuse, sweeping it under the rug or just slapping a wrist.

MoreYom on July 11st, 2019 at 20:46 UTC »

Right now there's a convoy of priests heading to a neighboring country with more lax laws.

BearWithNoName on July 11st, 2019 at 20:44 UTC »

Absolutely amazing, excellent work Chile!