Epstein's NY Victims Eligible to Bring Charges Under Child Victim Act

One year window for victims to bring older claims opens in August

NEW YORK (07/08/2019) (readMedia)-- Yesterday federal prosecutors indicted Jeffrey Epstein on charges of sex trafficking in the Southern District of New York. However, Espstein's victims may also be eligible to bring additional charges under the newly enacted Child Victims Act. On January 28th, the New York State Legislature officially expanded the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse to bring charges against their abusers. Survivors now have until the age of 28 to bring a criminal case, and 55 to bring a civil case. Crucially, any survivor who has aged out of the new statute of limitations has a one year period starting in mid-August to bring a civil claim, no matter how old. This would potentially apply to any of Epstein's alleged victims who were abused in New York. According to news reports, Epstein's alleged victims were as young as 14 at the time of their abuse.

"Safe Horizon fought for 13 years to pass the Child Victims Act with a one year look-back window so that survivors--like the young girls Epstein abused--could have a pathway to justice in the courts. We know this is hard and we are here to help," said Safe Horizon CEO Ariel Zwang.

Safe Horizon offers a hotline for those looking for support or just to talk with someone, call 1-800-621-HOPE.

Safe Horizon is planning to launch a website soon to educate the public and potential survivors about their rights under the new law. The effort will include wide-ranging outreach, a public information campaign, and earned and paid media.


What does the Child Victims Act do?

The Child Victims Act gives survivors of child sexual abuse more time to seek justice in our courts. Moving forward under the law survivors who were under the age of 23 on February 14, 2019 will now have until:

Their 55th birthday to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser.

Their 25th birthday to file criminal misdemeanor charges against their abusers and their 28th birthday to file criminal felony charges.

The CVA also creates a one year "window," beginning in mid-August 2019 through August 2020, when ANY adult survivor of child sexual abuse can file a civil lawsuit against their abuser and/or a negligent institution, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.

What does the one-year window do?

The one-year window allows any survivor who had aged out of the previous statute of limitations to file civil charges.

This includes survivors who have never filed a case or claim and those whose cases were dismissed because of the previous statute of limitations. Survivors of ANY age can file a civil case during the window.

When can survivors file a suit under the one-year window?

Suits can be filed between August 2019 and August 2020. These claims do not need to be finished before August 2020, just filed.

What survivors can do:

Age What survivors can do
Under 18 Can bring criminal charges up to age 28 (felonies) and age 25 (misdemeanors);
Can bring civil cases up to age 55.
Between 18 and 22 If not yet 23 on 2/14/19, can bring criminal charges up to age 28 (felonies) and age 25 (misdemeanors);
Can bring civil cases up to age 55.
23 and Older If 23rd birthday fell before 2/14/19 can take advantage of the 1 year window to file a civil case. The window opens mid-August 2019.