Statutory rape Kentucky

Asked over 2 years ago - Louisville, KY

When I was 14 about 10 years ago I had sex with a 21 year old, got pregnant and had an abortion. My parents at my urging did not press charges. I am wondering now at 24 years old if I could press charges against this guy? I know there is no statute of limitations for this in Kentucky but would a prosecutor be interested in pursuing this and could my parents get in trouble for not reporting?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Stephen J. Isaacs

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . First Question: Can you can press charges against the "guy"? Answer: Yes.

    KRS 510.060 defines rape in the THIRD degree as a person 21 years old or older engaging in sexual intercourse with another person less than 16 years old. Rape in the third degree is a Class D Felony in Kentucky. A class D Felony is punishable by fines and incarceration from 1 to 5 years.

    You indicated that this matter occurred about 10 years ago. In Kentucky, pursuant to KRS 500.050(1), there are no time limitations on the prosecution of felonies.

    Second question: Could your parents get in trouble for not reporting?

    This question is more complex to answer as to properly respond requires finding a statutory duty of a parent to report a crime committed where their child is the victim of that crime.

    KRS 501.030 defines criminal liability as a person engaging in conduct which includes a voluntary act or the omission to perform a duty which the law imposes upon him and which he is physically capable of performing; and he has engaged in such conduct intentionally, knowingly, wantonly or recklessly as the law may require, with respect to each element of the offense, except that this requirement does not apply to any offense which imposes absolute liability. However, Kentucky courts have held that ". . . one who merely fails to report a crime commits no offense. . ." in matters where there were no statutory duty.

    According to KRS 620.010, children have certain fundamental rights which must be protected and preserved, including but not limited to, the rights to adequate food, clothing and shelter; the right to be free from physical, sexual or emotional injury or exploitation; the right to develop physically, mentally, and emotionally to their potential; and the right to educational instruction and the right to a secure, stable family. KRS 620.030 establishes an affirmative duty to report dependency, neglect or abuse. KRS 620.010(1) states that "Any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child is dependent, neglected, or abused shall immediately cause an oral or written report to be made to a local law enforcement agency or the Department of Kentucky State Police..." Pursuant to KRS 620.020(5)(a), "any person who intentionally violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense. A class B Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.

    However, according to KRS 500.050(3), "for a misdemeanor offense under KRS Chapter 510 when the victim is under the age of eighteen (18) at the time of the offense, the prosecution of the offense shall be commenced within five (5) years after the victim attains the age of eighteen (18)
    years."

    Since you are now 24, or 6 years past the age of 18, the period of limitations for a prosecutor to bring charges against your parents have passed.

    Therefore, it does not appear that the prosecutor could bring charges against your parents for not reporting the rape in the third degree which happened to you at age 14.

    I note that in general per KRS 413.140(1)(a), the time limitations for a tort action is one year from the date you turned 18. However, while not certain, I seem to recall reading somewhere that you may bring a tort action within one year after a criminal conviction, which could extend the statute of limitations action in this case.

    If you are interested in pursuing a tort action, I would recommend you contact a Kentucky attorney to discuss the issue further.

    This answer is for informational purposes only. DO NOT rely on it as legal advice. Many times there are not... more
  2. Harry Edward Hudson Jr

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . No one on this list/forum could possiby tell you what a prosecutor might or might not be willing to do.
    It seems that though this event was several years ago, it still troubles you. Counseling??
    Perhaps a discussion with a criminal defense attorney who also handles civil injury cases would be helpful. Might even be free.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client... more

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