OSWEGO COUNTY — In 1998 Ray Younis pleaded guilty to some 86 charges of child sex abuse involving 17 boys in and around the Village of Phoenix, but authorities say there were perhaps dozens of other victims for which Younis could not be prosecutedbecause of the statute of limitations.
Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes says there is no statute of limitations for certain crimes including 1st degree rape and 1st degree criminal sex act, but many other felony sex crimes against children must be prosecuted within 5 years.
Oakes told CNY Central’s Jim Kenyon, “I can’t go into specifics but we have cases pending now where victims have come forward on a defendant and if the allegations are true, it’s horrifying. But this office can’t go forward because it’s beyond the statute of limitations.”
Oakes says he and other district attorneys have contacted state Assembly members and State Senators to change the laws, “to extend the statute of limitations for child sex offenses or to completely abolish them so when victims come forward years later, if it’s a credible, reliable allegation of real abuse, Why wouldn’t we want that to go to court?”
Over the past two years the state Assembly has considered three bills to change the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children. All have been held up in committee. Oakes says he intends to meet with one of the co-sponsors of those bills, Asssemblyman Will Barclay in the near future to pursue passage of the legislation.