A select number of sex crimes in Georgia exist outside of the statute of limitations for when they’ve allegedly been committed against someone who was younger than 16 years old at the time of the crime — the legislation first went into effect following the 1992 session of the General Assembly. A new bill would add aggravated sexual battery to that list, beginning in July of this year.
Tuesday, the state House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee unanimously approved the passage of that legislation — House Bill 258.
“Basically, what it’s doing is adding the offense of aggravated sexual battery to the tolling statute, which is dealt with in (Chapter 3 of Title 17 in the state code),” said the bill’s sponsor, state House Minority Whip William Boddie, D-East Point. “And, it’s dealing with tolling crimes for individuals who are victims under the age of 16 years of age.
“So, basically, what we’re doing in line 51 (of the bill) is adding the offense, so therefore it’s just like trafficking for sexual servitude, cruelty to children in the first degree, rape, aggravated sodomy, child molestation, aggravated child molestation, incest and enticing a child for indecent purposes. It is adding that charge, so a prosecutor can prosecute those, or that particular offense, without a statute of limitations. Again, for whatever reason, it was erroneously left from the list, and so I want to include that with the other listed charges for this particular code section.”
The crime carries with it a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime probation.
“This was also a very common-sense bill that had no opposition in (sub)committee,” said House Judiciary Non-Civil Vice-Chairman Bert Reeves, R-Marietta. “The aggravated sexual battery being added into this is certainly — the nature of the offense is in line with the offenses that are currently listed here, and this really just brings that offense in line with how those other crimes are handled. So, in the words of Whip Boddie, it’s a good bill, in my opinion.”
The bill moves on for consideration in the House Rules Committee.