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Can you press charges on parent for child abuse 10 years after your 18th birthday?

Dequincy, LA |

My older brother and I were both physically and emotionally abused by our mother as children. Besides regular beatings, I've watched my brother forced to stand outside in freezing weather naked for punishment, I was forced to run, chased by my step-father on a bike beating me, beaten in the head with a "Maglite", forced to carry xanax across the Mexican border, ect... I recently admitted myself to a psychiatric hospital and was diagnosed with PTSD and depression regarding this abuse we incurred. I'm now 28, but only just seeing the long term affects of this abuse. My brother reported it to the school when we were little, but they only called our mother instead of investigating the facts. We were beaten even more, so we never reported it again. As an adult, is there anything I can do now?

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Attorney answers 1


Criminal prosecutions have definite limits by statute in Louisiana. While a capital offense (one punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment) has no statute of limitations, most felonies must be prosecuted (the prosecution must be initiated) within six years of the offense. There are several felonies against children that have a ten-year period in which to initiate prosecution, those are all sex-related crimes against minors. The hypothetical situation you describe does not include any sexual offenses. You should contact an attorney regarding civil lawsuits or exceptions under which charges may still be filed.

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