Can you bring charges against a sibling who repeatedly raped you 40 years ago?

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Can you bring charges against a sibling who repeatedly raped you 40 years ago?

Asked on November 30, 2010 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, except in very exceptional cases, too much time has passed. For the most serious sexual assaults, MI allows charges to be brought up to 10 years after the attack or (for children victims), up to the victim's 21st birthday--whichever is the longer time. For less serious sexual assaults, it appears that the statute of limitations, or time to bring charges, is 6 years. 40 years would be far too  much time.

Sometimes, in the cases you may have read about about repressed memories, if sexual abuse happened when someone was very young and they could not remember it for many years, that may allow a longer time to bring legal action--but those are rare and highly specialized circumstances.


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