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Deadline looms to file lawsuit for sex abuse victims 30-years and older

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TUCSON (KVOA) -The deadline for victims of sex crimes in Arizona to file lawsuits going back 30 years expires on New Years Eve.

Back in 2019, Gov. Doug Ducey revised the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse.

Through his revision, he extended the statute of limitations, allowing victims to file a claim until their 30th birthday. The revision also allows anyone older than 30-years-old a full year to file a civil claim by Dec. 31, 2020.

"This extension of the deadline to file this claim until your 30th birthday is quite an expansion of what the law typically is," Attorney Dev Sethi said. "The law typically is you have two years to bring such a claim. In fact, if your claim is against a governmental defendant your time is...as short as 180 days.

So what does that mean for victims close to reaching that fast-approaching deadline?

"On the eve of that deadline it may be difficult for people to find a lawyer to file a claim," Sethi said. "People can file what's called a proper complaint meaning a claim that they bring themselves and there's no formalities to it. There's no special requirements to do that. You can handwrite it even. You can go down to the courthouse and they can provide you with a form."

Here in southern Arizona, there are a variety of resources for victims of sexual assault. One of them is SACASA, a group that provides crisis services as well as therapy and support.

"As far as how you can help a victim or if you yourself are a victim, I truly believe that outreach and that help and support is everything," Mara Capati SACASA Crisis Advocate said. "And it will in fact make a long-term difference in that healing."

Capati says more often than not abuse can happen from someone you know like a family member or a friend.

If you are a victim of sexual assault, you can contact police for help. You can also call the national sexual assault hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

For more resources for sexual abuse, click here.

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Denelle Confair

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