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Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes in Texas

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It is truly troublesome to be charged with any crime. The consequences to a conviction can include jail time, large fines and parole requirements. Yet, when one is accused of a sex crime, there are even greater concerns. The state of Texas takes the prosecution of sex crimes particularly seriously due to the nature of the act, which can cause significant damage to any victim. The very long statute of limitations in the state for the prosecution of sex crimes is a testament to how seriously Texas takes charges of a sexual nature.

One Clinton, Texas man is currently being prosecuted in the state for accusations involving sexual indiscretions which occurred over 30 years ago. A circuit court judge recently heard arguments pertaining to the statute of limitations involved in the Clinton man's case.

A statute of limitations is a sort of expiration period in which the state may prosecute a crime. That is, from the date the crime is committed, there is a predetermined certain amount of years in which an individual can be prosecuted. When that time period is up, there is nothing the state can do to hold this individual criminally responsible for the crime.

Sometime recently, the man was charged with a number of counts related to sexual indiscretions. The statute of limitations in effect at the time of the alleged commission requires the crime be prosecuted within two years of the apparent act. That two year period has long since passed. However, the relevant statute lists an exception, where the accused is absent from the state and thus outside of the jurisdiction for purposes of prosecution. The accused man left the state for some time after the date of the alleged crimes.

Now trial is set to proceed January 28th, 2013. There is no doubt that the man's attorney is doing his best to prepare appropriately for this event. Vigorous legal defense involving such a serious accusation is necessary in order to obtain a fair result.

Source: Clarion Ledger, "Judge says sex crime charges against former Clinton youth pastor will stand," Dec. 18, 2012.

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