Alvin Bragg asks NY to end five-year limit to reporting sex trafficking cases

 January 21, 2024

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg urged New York State lawmakers on Thursday to eliminate the statutory time limit for victims of sex trafficking to report abuse.

Standing alongside State Senator Cordell Cleare and Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz (D-Bronx), Bragg emphasized that the existing five-year statute of limitations on such crimes not only restricts survivors but also hinders prosecutors in their pursuit of justice.

The press conference

During a press conference in Lower Manhattan, Bragg emphatically stated, "Enough is enough," underscoring the inconsistency in having a statute of limitations for sex trafficking when no such limitation exists for rape or other serious sexual offenses.

Bragg highlighted recent legislation, such as the lapsed Adult Survivors Act, which granted survivors extended time to report incidents.

The Adult Survivors Act, signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul in 2022, allowed victims aged 18 and older to bring claims of sexual assault and abuse to civil court, regardless of when the crime occurred.

Others agree

State Senator Cordell Cleare, sponsor of State Senate Bill 349-B, emphasized the enduring impact of sex trafficking, stating, "Sex trafficking, human trafficking is a crime that lasts far beyond five years. The scars and the damages last a lifetime."

The proposed bill seeks to extend the statute of limitations related to certain sex trafficking offenses beyond the current five-year limit.

Reflecting on 2018 legislation, New York state lawmakers passed a sex trafficking bill targeting individuals over 21 who intentionally promoted or profited from the prostitution of minors. Offenders faced a felony sex trafficking charge carrying a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Challenges of enforcement

Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz acknowledged the historical challenges faced by the bill but expressed a determined effort to advance it through the Assembly this year.

Dinowitz underscored the significance of providing district attorneys with the means to pursue individuals involved in severe crimes.

"It's shocking that right now they can't do that." He conveyed confidence in the bill's potential passage and signing into law during the current legislative year," he stated.

The call for legislative action reflects a commitment to addressing the unique challenges faced by survivors of sex trafficking and ensuring that legal mechanisms align with the gravity and enduring impact of such crimes.

As discussions unfold, lawmakers weigh the imperative of providing justice for survivors against the complexities of legal frameworks governing these offenses.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.