|SOL: + 5 years from accrual (accrual at very narrow discovery).
1. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.0045 (a) “A person must bring suit for personal injury not later than five years after the day the cause of action accrues if the injury arises as a result of conduct that violates:(1) Section 22.011, Penal Code (sexual assault);(2) Section 22.021, Penal Code (aggravated sexual assault); (3) Section 21.02, Penal Code (continuous sexual abuse of young child or children); (4) Section 20A.02, Penal Code (trafficking of persons); or (5) Section 43.05, Penal Code (compelling prostitution).”
2. When plaintiff filed a personal injury suit against defendants, the diocese and the church, alleging they were negligent for failing to prevent a priest from sexually assaulting her as a child, the Court of Appeals of Texas held in a case of first impression that Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 16.0045 — the five-year statute of limitations for sexual assault cases — applied to claims against defendants who did not physically assault the plaintiff but whose negligence proximately caused the sexual assault. Stephanie M. v. Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate Diocese, 362 S.W.3d 656, 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 1952 (Tex. App. Houston 14th Dist. 2011).
1. Majority. Yes, 18.
a. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 16.001(a)(1)-(b) (“(a) For the purposes of this subchapter, a person is under a legal disability if the person is: (1) younger than 18 years of age, regardless of whether the person is married . . .(b) If a person entitled to bring a personal action is under a legal disability when the cause of action accrues, the time of the disability is not included in a limitations period.”)
2. Discovery, Yes, very narrow. Knowledge of perp and knowledge of abuse only.
1. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.0045 (c) (“The limitations period under this section is tolled for a suit on the filing of a petition by any person in an appropriate court alleging that the identity of the defendant in the suit is unknown and designating the unknown defendant as “John or Jane Doe.” The person filing the petition shall proceed with due diligence to discover the identity of the defendant and amend the petition by substituting the real name of the defendant for “John or Jane Doe” not later than the 30th day after the date that the defendant is identified to the plaintiff. The limitations period begins running again on the date that the petition is amended.”)
2. Doe v. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Sch., 382 Fed. Appx. 386, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 12626 (5th Cir. Tex. 2010) (OVERVIEW: Appellants’ 2008 sexual abuse claims against a church school, a church, and a reverend were time barred under the five-year statute of limitations in Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 16.0045(a), and the limitations period was not tolled by the discovery rule because appellants admitted they had been aware, at least periodically, of the molestation since they turned 18 in at least 1974, and their reporting of the abuse in 1968 foreclosed the contention that the abuse was inherently undiscoverable.)
a. Doe v. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Sch., 382 Fed. Appx. 386, 388-389, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 12626, 6-7 (5th Cir. Tex. 2010) (“The Texas Supreme Court has not directly addressed the question of whether all sexual abuse cases are inherently undiscoverable, but other Texas courts have found that the discovery rule does not apply uniformly to these cases. See Doe v. Linam, 225 F. Supp. 2d 731, 735-36 (S.D. Tex. 2002) (holding that the discovery rule did not apply because the plaintiff knew both of the abuse and of his emotional and psychological problems); Marshall v. First Baptist Church, 949 S.W.2d 504, 507 (Tex. App. 1997) (holding that the discovery rule did not apply because the victim had reported the abuse and therefore had “discovered the wrongful acts”). To bring a suit, it is not necessary for the victim to connect the abuse to any subsequent psychological injuries or understand the full extent of his injuries. Adams v. YMCA, 265 S.W.3d 915, 917-18 (Tex. 2008); Linam, 225 F. Supp. 2d at 735-36. Sexual assault–an impermissible and intentional invasion of the victim’s person–is in and of itself an injury “actionable independently and separately from mental suffering or other injury.” Harned v. E-Z Fin. Co., 151 Tex. 641, 254 S.W.2d 81, 85 (Tex. 1953).”)
b. Doe v. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Sch., 382 Fed. Appx. 386, 389, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 12626, 7 (5th Cir. Tex. 2010) (“knowledge and reporting of the abuse foreclose the contention that this abuse was inherently undiscoverable”)
c. “However, Texas courts have distinguished cases in which victims were at least in some way aware of the abuse from cases in which the victim repressed all memories of the abuse. Compare Placette v. M.G.S.L., No. 09-09-00410, 2010 Tex. App. LEXIS 2935, at *14-*15 (Tex. App. Apr. 22, 2010) (holding that the discovery rule did not apply because the victim “testified she ‘always knew’ she had been abused”), with S.V., 933 S.W.2d at 8 (assuming without deciding that victim’s injuries were inherently undiscoverable because the victim had completely repressed memories of the abuse, recovering them only through therapy sessions).” Doe v. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Sch., 382 Fed. Appx. 386, 389, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 12626, 7 (5th Cir. Tex. 2010)
d. “Although Plaintiffs present affidavits from a psychiatrist asserting they have suppressed and repressed the abuse, we find the facts of this case insufficient to show that the sexual abuse was inherently undiscoverable. While Plaintiffs likely did engage in psychological coping mechanisms, unlike the victim in S.V., those mechanisms did not completely “block . . . all memory of” the abuse, as demonstrated by Plaintiffs’ comments about the abuse to others. 933 S.W.2d at 11. Furthermore, Plaintiffs completed college and maintained careers, indicating that the coping mechanisms did not “so mentally impair [Plaintiffs as to make them] unable to participate in, control, or understand the progression and disposition of a lawsuit.” Placette, 2010 Tex. App. LEXIS 2935, at *15. Therefore, the district court properly found that the discovery rule did not toll the statutory limitations on Plaintiffs’ sexual assault claims.” Doe v. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Sch., 382 Fed. Appx. 386, 389, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 12626, 7-9 (5th Cir. Tex. 2010)
|None for most crimes. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 12.01 (1)(B)-(E), (G), (H). +20 years from majority for child porn. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 12.01 (5) . +10 years from majority for trafficking or compelling prostitution. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 12.01 (6).
Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 12.01 (1)(“Except as provided in Article 12.03, felony indictments may be presented within these limits, and not afterward: (1) no limitation…”)
Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 12.01 (1) (B) (“…sexual assault under Section 22.011(a)(2), Penal Code, or aggravated sexual assault under Section 22.021(a)(1)(B), Penal Code;”)
Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 12.01 (1) (C) (“…sexual assault, if during the investigation of the offense biological matter is collected and subjected to forensic DNA testing and the testing results show that the matter does not match the victim or any other person whose identity is readily ascertained;”)
Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 12.01 (1) (D) (“…continuous sexual abuse of young child or children under Section 21.02, Penal Code;”)
Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 12.01 (1) (E) (“… indecency with a child under Section 21.11, Penal Code;”)